As of the 5th May 2014, Optus are now providing its customers with a direct billing method for making purchases within Google Play. Great news for many, I suspect, as it means you no longer need to share your credit card details with Google (as if you haven’t shared enough of your personal details with them already!).
In order to get setup, prepaid Optus customers can sign-up to the service via a one-off verification process directly from their Android devices. You can access this by enabling Optus billing, which will appear as an option the next time you go to make a purchase. Once enabled and verified, you can then begin making purchases in Google Play straight away. All charges are automatically added to your monthly phone bill from then onwards. This method of payment allows customers to buy apps, music, eBooks, movies or TV shows as well as make in-app purchases.
Deal hunting tip: Keep an eye out for discounted Optus prepaid starter kit offers (e.g. $30 starter kit for $15) as this basically now gives you instant savings on your Google Play purchases. No need to wait for discounts on Google Play gift cards to popup any longer!
Optus’ are making known their efforts to reduce “bill shock” for customers at the end of each month. So in keeping with this, they’ve set certain spending limitations on their direct billing service. For example, single purchases are capped at a maximum of $49.99, and by default the total monthly purchases cannot exceed $200. For additional protection, customers can also choose to set a monthly spending limit of their own and/or set up a pin which will be required to authorise any purchases. To set this pin, go to Settings > User Controls and tick the box next to Password. You’ll then be prompted to enter a one.
They’ve even got a refund option in place. You just need to remember to be quick as there’s a time limit on getting one. Let’s say you purchase an app and then shortly afterwards decide it’s not one you feel is worth the money. You’ll have 15 minutes within which to go back and request a refund. The way you do this is to return to the Google Play page where you purchased the content from and below the “Install” button you’ll now see a “REFUND” button has appeared. Simply tap the button and select “Yes”. If you miss this 15 minute window, your only recourse is to email the developer directly using the contact information on the page and to request a refund directly from them.
If for any reason you wish to unsubscribe to Optus’ direct billing service, then there’s more good news as this is also easily done. Simply sign into Google Wallet with the Google Account that’s synced to your phone/tablet, select your mobile number and delete it. That’s it, done!
Optus are also making sure that all Google Play purchases will be clearly marked on their customer’s bills at the end of each month too.
Previously this service was only available for Telstra customers, which provided a nifty way of combining all your phone-related costs into a single bill. This new payment method for Optus customers is also bound to be popular with anyone who prefers to pay for things via direct-debit or perhaps doesn’t have a credit card to begin with.