As with all things in the world of technology, a company seems to have found a bit of a loophole in regards to carrier billing for developers, or more specifically, integrating it into their applications and games. This has a lot of implications, including a big one: countries without access to paid apps and games on the Android market could still purchase them through free demos released by the developer.
The Android Developer Distribution Agreement does not specifically mention anything about in-app purchasing nor does it explicitly prohibit it. Enter Zong, a company that specializes in in-app purchases. Because they do not actually deal with selling the application or game, only the enabling of purchasing of content through the application or game using carrier billing, it may have found a loophole in the user agreement.
The Android Developer Distribution Agreement has this to say about “Payment Processors”:
[They are] are a “party authorized by Google to provide payment processing services that enable Developers with optional Payment Accounts to charge Device users for Products distributed via the Market.”
According the David Marcus, the CEO of Zong, they institute a one-click payment solution that is integrated into the application or game and is fairly easy to implement using their SDK. The process is easy: Zong verifies the phone number from which the purchase is made from and then the charge is automatically put onto the user’s wireless phone bill.
Since they basically act as a third party gateway and not an actual payment processor, it may very well bypass the stipulations in the Android Developers Distribution Agreement regarding payment processors.