Technology, Smartphones, Games

Netbanking payment option for Google Play Store available for some users in India

Google be bringing a very important feature for its app store, for Android users in India. There is a new netbanking payment option for the Google Play Store, at least for some users.

Netbanking payment option for Google Play Store
This could have quite an impact on the piracy issue of Android. Most people in India have a debit card with a Nationalized bank such as SBi, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, to name a few.

Nationalized banks adhere to the Reserve Bank of India's security rules, and use a OTP (One Time Password) or VBV (Verified by Visa) password, as a 2-factor authentication, to prevent theft of funds from lost debit cards. Since this protocol is applied on all debit cards, it is impossible to make a purchase through a payment system which is hosted overseas, unless your card is enabled for International Transactions. This includes all digital stores like the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store, Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle, etc, and also money transfer services like PayPal.

If you attempt to make a purchase using a regular debit card, or even try adding your debit card on such websites, it is usually met with a message which says, payment declined or purchase failed, or "your bank didn't approve this", etc. This is because your bank is blocking the funds, to protect your account from fraudulent usage. But this restriction doesn't apply to debit cards from private banks like ICICI, HDFC, Axis bank etc, which do have international transactions enabled.

Since the majority of Indians fall under the Nationalized bank users category, they can't purchase apps, games , movies, etc from Google Play. As a result, many users often pirate premium apps which they cannot get, due to the fact they have no option to buy it. The introduction of the Netbanking option, could very much cut down the Android piracy rate by a great extent. Many Indians use netbanking for recharging their mobile numbers, buying data packs, to pay bills, NEFT transfers etc.  Netbanking also makes use of 2-factor authentication, with a password, followed by an OTP which is usually sent by an SMS to the registered mobile number, of the account holder. So it is pretty much secure, and also quite widely used, than actual debit cards.

The new Netbanking option for the Google Play Store, is not available on any of our accounts, but many users on Reddit and Android Police (Image credits) have reported that it is available for them from the  Play Store > Account > Add New Payment option, settings. So, it is likely that this option is rolled out in phases, or is probably being tested for accounts which do not have any payment option available.