Vodacom launches new BlackBerry payments

2012-06-14 10:30
Vodacom has introduced a new way for both prepaid and contract customers to pay for app purchases on BlackBerry smartphones. (RIM)

Vodacom has introduced a new way for both prepaid and contract customers to pay for app purchases on BlackBerry smartphones. (RIM)

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Cape Town - Vodacom has introduced a new way for both prepaid and contract customers to pay for app purchases on BlackBerry smartphones.

The mobile operator announced on Thursday that BlackBerry customers could now pay for apps by deducting the amounts directly from their prepaid credit balance or incurring charges to their contract account.

"We have worked closely with RIM to make this functionality available for our BlackBerry smartphone customers," said Prins Mhlanga, Managing Executive of Vodacom Digital Media.

The operator has been on a drive to increase data users of customers as an area of revenue growth in the face of increased competition by MTN and Cell C.

"The demand remains strong; there's strong competition in the SA market. Data revenue is up 24% year-on-year. The active data customers [are] up 35%: Now just over 12 million [and] all of the 12 million are buying data bundles on a monthly basis," Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys told News24.

The new billing system also allows in-app purchases to more seamless and brings a competitive advantage to RIM over devices running the Android operating system as it establishes a more direct billing relationship with users.

"We're delighted that Vodacom’s BlackBerry smartphone customers will be able to purchase apps on BlackBerry App World and conveniently charge them to their regular phone bill from Vodacom," said Bob Bose, RIM regional managing director.

The Canadian-based company has been hit by several departures of key executives as it struggles to survive the onslaught from Android devices and Apple's iPhone.

Market watchers are expecting the company to reverse its fortunes with the launch on the BlackBerry 10 smartphone, expected later in the year.

While Android devices are growing in SA, up to 65% of smartphones in the country are BlackBerry devices.


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Read more on:    blackberry  |  vodacom  |  rim  |  mobile
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