Mobile payments company Bango and operator Telkom South Africa have partnered to launch carrier billing in Google Play, claiming it to be a first for Africa.

Telkom SA is using the Bango Payment Platform to provide the service to its Android customers.

In Africa, Google’s Android platform currently represents 89 per cent of the smartphone market, according to IDC.

Telkom customers using Android smartphones and tablets can now purchase apps, games, music and other digital content using one-click carrier billing, charging the cost to their phone bill or deducting the charge from airtime, without the need for a credit card or to register personal details.

“By combining the mass market of the smartphone with the ease and simplicity of one click payment, carrier billing is emerging as a vital enabler of mobile commerce globally,” Bango said in a statement.

Where carrier billing is introduced to fast-growing emerging markets such as in Africa, Bango says it routinely sees increases in digital content sales of 300-400 per cent.

Amazon, Samsung, BlackBerry, Mozilla, Google and Microsoft are already using the Bango Payment Platform to provide carrier billing for their customers.

Earlier this year, operator Globe said the number of customers who have bought an app or made in-app purchases on the Google Play Store more than doubled since it introduced the service in October in the Philippines.

Last year, Bango signed a simliar agreement with Samsung for the Samsung Galaxy Apps store.