Google loosens grip on app payments - Mobile World Live

Google loosens grip on app payments

24 MAR 2022

Google outlined plans to trial third-party payments for apps downloaded from its Play Store with selected partners across several countries, following a forced policy change in South Korea and pressure on the issue in other markets.

On Google’s developer blog, VP of product management Sameer Samat stated the pilot was in response to recent discussion around billing choice within app stores and cited its changes in Korea.

“This pilot will allow a small number of participating developers to offer an additional billing option next to Google Play’s billing system and is designed to help us explore ways to offer this choice to users, while maintaining our ability to invest in the ecosystem.”

“This is a significant milestone and the first on any major app store, whether on mobile, desktop, or game consoles.”

The first partner announced for the scheme is Spotify. In its statement on the deal, the music streaming player noted users downloading its app through the Play Store would eventually be given the option of paying through its own payment platform “side-by-side” to Google’s own billing system.

A tie-up between the two is a multi-year agreement. Spotify expects to introduce the first iteration of the service later this year.

Google’s move follows amendments of its payment policies in Korea, which were forced by a law change requiring app stores to allow alternative billing options.

Apple and Google initially slated the move and have regularly highlighted the security provided by using their specific systems to complete purchases.

Politicians in several other countries have also pushed for changes in various app store policies, including payments.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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