Research In Motion Ltd. is expanding the payment capabilities of its BlackBerry smartphones.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said that it is allowing the device's payment system, currently used to purchase downloadable software through Research In Motion's "App World" mobile application store, to give software developers a way to charge for other content within the apps they sell.

This is similar to a function Apple Inc. already allows for its own app store, though Research In Motion offers one payment option Apple does not: carrier billing (Apple bills all purchases to a payment account or prepaid balance linked to its iTunes digital media store). BlackBerry users can also pay with PayPal or a credit card.

The expanded system can handle models such as subscriptions, pay-per-use and one-time fees to unlock an app's features.

"The payment service manages all the technical and financials of payment for you," Research In Motion said on its website. "You don't have to waste time managing relationships or business terms with payment providers and coding for integration into each provider's solution."

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