Following a new law in South Korea, Google confirms its plans to support alternative billing systems on Google Play. It is also cutting rates.
In response to a new law in South Korea, Google You have described your plans for alternative billing systems in the payment application. Both Google and Apple have come under scrutiny over their respective app stores, payment methods, and the inability of third-party developers to offer alternative payment options to customers. In Apple’s case, the company has previously not allowed third-party payment methods, links to third-party payment methods, or third-party app stores on iOS.
By comparison, Google is in a more interesting situation. The company already allows the use of third-party app stores on its platform, which means that third-party app stores can also offer their own payment systems. However, Android throws a lot of errors when trying to install a third-party app store, which is highly recommended for users to stick with the default Google Play Store.
That is about to change, at least in South Korea. According to a Press release, Google now allows third-party payment options along with the billing system in the default Google Play app, and the user can choose between the different options during checkout. Of course, Google cautions that using a third-party billing solution, “It may not offer the same protections or payment options and billing features as Google Play.” The warning goes on to mention parental controls, family payment methods, gift cards, and reward points as examples.
A small but positive step
Google says that today’s announcement is simply an outline and that it will have more information to share in the future. This includes more details for users about their options, as well as developer guidelines and instructions. Google also says it will reduce in-app billing fees by 4 percent if developers choose to implement a third-party payment system. In most cases, this will reduce fees from 15 percent to 11 percent. Google’s Media Experience program developers will see a 10% to 6% decrease. The company says this reduction is designed to help support and account for any external fees related to setting up and managing an alternative billing system.
While Google only plans to launch third-party billing options in South Korea for now, the company may make a similar decision in other countries in the future. Unlike Apple, Google adding such an option for a wider audience would make sense considering that Android is generally referred to as an open platform. Regardless, this is good news. While most users are likely to be left with GoogleThanks to the integrated system for ease of use, third-party systems could offer discounts as a result of the lower rates.