Google announced that will allow the use of alternative payment methods in the Play Store, your store for apps, games, books and movies. It will initially be on a trial basis and will be limited to a very small number of developers, starting with Spotify as a first ally.
As Mountain View explains, the pilot program Billing at the user’s choice will allow the public to choose how to pay for an in-app purchase. Thus, they can opt for the payment gateway that Google has always offered, or take advantage of a third-party option provided by the developers of the application in question.
In this way, the Play Store will extend to other countries what is already available in South Korea. Remember that last year the so-called anti-Google law was passed, forcing the company – and also Apple – to offer alternative payment methods in its application stores.
What Google is offering now could be considered a nod to regulators, facing growing pressure in different parts of the world. However, various user-selectable billing details have yet to be disclosed; among them, the precise date of its launch, and the changes in relation to the payment of commissions.
Why did Google choose Spotify as its first ally?
The inclusion of alternative payment methods in the Play Store is a move long overdue by many companies, though arguably none have been as vocal on the subject as Spotify. In fact, the popular music and podcast streaming platform has also publicly crossed paths with Apple over its policies around the App Store.
According to Google, Spotify will allow its users buy your subscriptions and choose how to pay for them, either through the Play Store or with the service’s own method. The idea is that this possibility will reach the 184 countries in which Spotify Premium is available, although the process will be gradual.
“As one of the world’s largest subscription developers with a global footprint and integrations across a wide range of device form factors, they are a natural first partner. Together, we will work to innovate in the how consumers make in-app purchases, deliver engaging experiences across multiple devices, and attract more consumers to the Android platform.”
From the streaming service too they were hopeful with the arrival of alternative payment methods on the Play Store. “Spotify has publicly advocated for platform fairness and expanded payment options, among other things, because fair and open platforms enable better experiences for consumers and allow developers to grow and thrive – where that is. happens, everyone wins.”, they assured.
Alternative payment methods are coming to the Play Store
As we mentioned earlier, several details of the addition of alternative payment methods to the Play Store are still unknown. Although Google has confirmed Tech Crunch What developers will have to continue paying commissions no matter how much they use a third-party payment gateway, a specific percentage was not mentioned.
As with other app and digital content stores, Mountain View’s share can be as high as 30%. Yet last year, Californians announced they would cut it to 15% for both app sales and subscriptions. Now, we will have to see how much it is still reduced for the implementation of other payment options; in South Korea the reduction was not more than 4%according to the aforementioned report.
The inclusion of the alternative payment methods in the Play Store will take a few months, as Spotify explains. The streaming service’s engineers will work alongside their peers at Google for the first phase of this pilot program. We plan to launch the first version of User Choice Billing later this year.
Now, it remains to be seen if Apple takes up the gauntlet and makes a similar decision for the future. Although those in Cupertino have been ordered to allow third-party payment platforms in the App Store, nothing has changed so far. Keep in mind that the company already allowed developers to point out alternative methods, but not enforce them in their apps. Meanwhile, Paddle continues to generate interest as a possible rival to Apple’s system; according to its CEO, they have already added more than 1,500 developers, while it hasn’t started working yet.