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Apple opens carrier billing in Japan, a day after Taiwan and Switzerland

Apple's direct phone billing plans are unfolding, with the company allowing Japanese users to opt to add their apps and music purchases to their phone bills.

This makes Japan Apple's fifth market globally to get this payment method after Germany and Russia last year, and just a day after Taiwan and Switzerland launched on Tuesday.

Direct billing is an additional payment mode for users, who have relied on credit cards and iTunes stored value cards in the past to make their virtual purchases.

CNBC reports that customers with Japan's second-largest phone company KDDI will get the payment mode.

Japan is Apple's third largest app store spender, behind China and the U.S.. It was previously second, but China overtook it in the first quarter of this year.

Still, Japan's spending trajectory continues to be maintained at a steady rate, going by figures from app store tracker App Annie.

The idea behind carrier billing is to remove another barrier to payment, in the hopes of encouraging more spending on the app store. Carrier billing is arguably more convenient for users who don't have or don't want to add credit cards to their accounts, or find buying stored value cards a hassle.

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