Home How Android Developers Can Implement In-App Purchases Now

How Android Developers Can Implement In-App Purchases Now

Android developers waiting for Google to implement an official method for in-app purchases finally have some alternatives. This week, there was good news from Papaya Mobile, a mobile social platform with 3 million users. The company partnered with Zong, an international mobile payments company to offer in-app virtual goods purchases within its gaming platform.

But Zong isn’t the only company operating in this space. Another mobile payment startup, Boku, is offering a similar solution, active now in 60 countries and 198 carriers through its beta program. And PayPal announced in-app billing back in April. If you’re a developer waiting on Google to offer in-app purchases, it’s time to consider your alternatives.

According to news from GigaOm, Zong allows Papaya Mobile customers to buy virtual goods which are charged to their carrier bill.

Although the Zong Android program is still in beta, its aim is to provide a one-click “buy” button for apps. Instead of having to enter in a credit card number and other billing information, the purchase just shows up on the customer’s monthly statement. Interested developers can request access here.

Also in beta is Boku’s program, offering a similar in-app billing option. With no user registration required and a drop-in SDK, Boku lets customers in 60 countries on 198 carriers buy virtual items and upgrades within an app. Developers can implement this now by heading to this page on Boku’s website and clicking “Sign Up Now” button. Boku’s technical team will then get in touch, and walk you through the set up process.

What About Physical Goods?

PayPal, too, offers in-app billing for Android developers. However, in this case, it’s not a system designed for virtual goods, but physical ones. (Or services). With the “Mobile Payments Library for Android” launched in May, developers can integrate PayPal into an app.

“The Mobile Payments Library allows you to add checkout functionality for donations, personal payments, physical goods and services sold through apps on the Android phone without having to worry about keeping customers’ personal financial information secure,” wrote PayPal’s VP of platform, mobile and new ventures Osama Bedier on the PayPal blog. Developers can access this library from here (and the iPhone one too).

As a recent study noted, in-app purchases generate more revenue than ads in social networking and social gaming applications. Developers looking for monetization options need to consider trying some non-Google ventures if they want to earn money now. However, we hope that an official solution from Google isn’t too far off.

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