Apple lets German customers add iTunes purchases to phone bills

Apple brings carrier billing for app purchases to Germany.

You may soon be able to make purchases in the iTunes store without a credit or debit card.

Apple has been working with a phone carrier in Germany on an agreement that would let people pay for items as part of their phone bills. Users’ phone numbers, rather than credit cards or bank account numbers, will be used to make purchases that will show up on the next bill.

A rep for O2/Telefónica told TechCrunch that the carrier has been working with Apple on this type of billing. The option got a soft launch across Germany and will be available to all O2 customers early next month.

Billing through the phone carrier will include all purchases in iTunes, Apple Music, the App Store and iBooks, TechCrunch reported. The publication spotted the new purchasing option in Germany when a blogger there reported seeing the change on her Apple account.

Since Apple’s launch of the iTunes Store in 2003, Apple users could only make purchases using a credit, debit or gift card.

Apple is not commenting on carrier billing in Germany and there is no word on whether the company is working with service providers in other markets.

As TechCrunch points out, Apple may be looking for other ways to make products more accessible, especially in developing countries where credit and debit cards are not so common.

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