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Discussion Starter #1
Hi friends:

I recently got an Android smartphone, and I'd like to be able to purchase a few Android market apps. I learned quickly from the Android Market website that they don't accept Paypal (In spite of rumours to the contrary) or any other online option other than debit, credit or gift cards.

I'm leery of using my regular credit cards, and I'm definitely not using my regular ATM/debit card online. That'd be suicide. Gift cards are a possibility, but I've read that some of them don't work properly with American sites/retailers.

I was hoping for direct-carrier billing, in which the bill for any app you buy is tacked on to your cell carrier monthly bill. Does anyone know if we're going to get that any time soon in Canada?

Does anyone know if there will be any other options soon for Android Market billing in Canada?


Brainer
 

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Paypal is likely coming soon. However, you don't pay directly to the Android market at the moment, you use Google Checkout, which is pretty much Google's answer to Paypal. Only Google sees your information, and given that you're already using an Android phone, I'm guessing that you're already sharing a fair bit of your information with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
TorontoColin:

Thanks for that. Yeah, I know what you mean, but I'm thinking about it from the opposite perspective. That is, Google already knows enough about me; I don't want them knowing about my financial data too.

Are there other options? Has anyone tried any of the prepaid credit cards or gift cards with Android Market from Canada yet? I've been reading a thread over on a personal finance website, and the prepaid/gift card situation seems to be very complicated indeed.


Brainer
 

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I use Google Checkout all the time, never had a problem. It also ties in quite nicely with the phone's services.

Google will usually use higher Security measures than any other.
 

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Using my Prepaid BMO Mastercard on my phone and I've had no issues. Also, in regards to debit, I think that option only applies to US residents since their debit cards can act like a credit card as well.
 

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BGY11:

Thanks for that. I'm seriously considering just going with getting a prepaid BMO Mastercard. Mind if I ask specifically which version you have
and also where one can buy these?

There are so many of them these days it's just dizzying.


Brainer
 

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I have the BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard. It costs $10 for a card that expires after 3 years, but it works quite well. Since I have a BMO Bank account already, I can easily transfer funds from my chequing account to the prepaid Mastercard and they are available immediately (if you use another bank, it will take a couple days to transfer funds since you would do that via a bill payment).

I had applied online and received the card in a week or so. Note that it seems they want a fair bit of information, but they are a bank after all ;)

I've had the card now for 2 years and haven't had any issues. I've used it quite a bit for Android apps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
BGY11:

Thanks very much for that info. I think I will go apply for one at my local BMO.
It will be nice to actually use a GPS software that works offline!

I still hold out hope that Android Market would have carrier billing or Paypal, though.


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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, well..for anyone who wants to avoid some hassle, I got desperate and bought what I could get quickly-a citizensbank.ca prepaid $25 VISA. It's labelled "The Perfect Choice".

Google Checkout recognized it, so I should be good to go with this card. Perfect Choice, eh?

I think I'll still go and get a reloadable, no charge BMO prepaid Mastercard, though. When you calculate the costs, including exchange rate, this thing will cost me almost 20% due to fees. Whew!

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I didn't get a chance to edit the last e-mail before that feature was shut off.

So I'll just add that one of the apps I wanted buy, I had to give the company my credit card number directly-a GPS app for which you couldn't buy the maps through the Market.

After about 10 tries, the results were disappointing. The company's website did NOT recognize the prepaid VISA as a valid credit card number. Now I have to get another card anyways.

It seems to me some company could find a real niche here and really perfect online payments. Maybe Apple, with their ability to integrate well and make things easy. Please note I'm not a big Apple fan. I own no Apple gear, and probably never will.


Brainer
 

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I agree that it would be good to have an easy to use mobile payment plan. Not everyone has credit cards, and it would be good to have an option for them. At least with the iPhone you can buy iTunes cards at almost any store; too bad there's no equivalent Android option as of yet.

Please note: I don't want this thread to turn into a "Why you should get a credit card" debate. Everyone has their reasons for getting one/not getting one and there should be options for everyone when it comes to buying apps for smartphones.
 

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Actually, I don't see a niche here at all.

Google has designed the system with the specific intent to use their services via Google Checkout, seeing as it's built into the phone and Market. Apple and Microsoft (eventually) are the same.

Not to be nit-picky, but are you sure all of this is worth it just to avoid Google handling your purchases? Google only brokers the purchases between you and MC or Visa anyway. PayPal works the same way, although PayPal also has the ability to take funds directly from your bank account. I haven't checked whether Google Checkout has this function.

If you're using their services (the phone itself, GMail, other apps etc etc), they already know plenty about you anyway.

Any other upstart would be quickly challenged and eventually defeated by Google.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry, my last post (#10) was very badly written. I was not clear about what happened. Google Checkout recognized the Citizens Bank Visa card just fine.

But I had to go through the app company's own website directly to try to purchase the maps for their GPS software. It is the app company's own website that rejected the CC number. Google Checkout was never a problem.

So I'm not trying to avoid Google Checkout. It's actually the opposite-I'd prefer to use them.

Sorry about that.

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Android platform group manager Eric Chu, speaking Tuesday at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, said that Google is "not happy" with the number of paid applications being downloaded through the Android Market, especially given that 300,000 devices are being activated every day. He also today that in-app payments were coming to the Android Market and that developers should "stay tuned" for more information. It seems that Google will be giving developers several different payment options including carrier billing and the standard Google Checkout. He also mentioned that other payment services were being looked into, so don't be surprised if PayPal gets support as well.
Source

Carrier Billing – not much different how it has already been done with AT&T. Let’s just hope there is a setting to prevent your kids from buying every app in the Market and have it show up on your cell phone bill.
Source
 

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paypal support is a no brainer and should have been the the first option.. Ebay made paypal what it is and almost everyone has a paypal account.. Get on in Google
 

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I highly doubt Google will support Paypal on Android since it competes with their Google Checkout service. It would be nice, but I just don't see it happening.
 
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