December 23, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
The Android Market is undergoing a wave of changes, the latest of which is the option for AT&T customers to use Direct Carrier Billing. Android Developer Ecosystem overseer Eric Chu announced yesterday that Android users on AT&T can have app purchases charged to their monthly phone bill rather than a credit card tied to Google Checkout.
Carrier billing first appeared on T-Mobile as another option for users wary of Google Checkout. While most Android users have collectively purchased thousands of apps without issue, Checkout has repeatedly led to purchasing errors, authorization problems, and been an overall barrier to customers without access to a compatible credit or debit card.
AT&T customers can now avoid these issues and have their app purchases bundled with the standard monthly charges they pay to the carrier. The update has been rolling out to customers through an automatic update of the Market and will continue over the next few days. The next time you attempt to buy an app, look for the “Pay for this with” header and select “Bill my AT&T account” in the drop-down menu.
Google plans to partner with more carriers to bring this feature to more users.