Apple expands carrier billing availability with rollout in Taiwan and Switzerland [u]

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Apple on Tuesday launched a new carrier billing options in Taiwan and Switzerland that lets users charge iTunes purchases directly to their monthly cellphone bill.

Like carrier billing systems already available in Germany and Russia Apple's Taiwan rollout lets customers pay for apps, music, Apple Music subscriptions and more using their phone number, reports ET Today.

A follow-up report from Mashable notes the same feature also rolled out in Switzerland, meaning the service is now available in four international markets. In Taiwan, the payment alternative will initially be available to monthly contract customers of local telecom Far EasTone.

Apple traditionally keeps user payments within its own ecosystem of services, for example iTunes purchases are normally charged to credit cards registered to an Apple ID. With carrier billing, users still need an Apple ID to access the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other services, but are able to charge fees to their monthly wireless bill.

Apple iPhone and iPad users can activate carrier billing via the Apple ID account settings menu. After confirming their phone number and completing an initial setup process, users are able to make purchases with one-click checkouts through Apple's various digital storefronts.

Apple has long refused to offer carrier billing as a viable iTunes payment alternative in the majority of markets in which iPhones are sold, and only does so only in countries where direct billing is difficult or impossible. Further, the option is appealing to cash-based societies not accustomed to paying with credit cards.

Update: This story has been updated to reflect Apple's carrier billing launch in Switzerland.