Google allows developers in the Netherlands, Belgium and many more countries to offer alternative payment methods for Android apps in the Play Store. Developers in the United States and other parts of the world cannot participate for the time being.
It is a test program from Google to which certain conditions are attached. This concerns a limited number of countries. These are countries in Europe, India, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. Another limitation is that games are not in the test for the time being. Also, the developer must be a registered company. The alternative payment methods may only be offered in the app itself and not outside it.
The alternative payment method must use the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard if debit and/or credit cards are used. Customer support must be provided to the users of the payment method and those customers must also be able to challenge illegal transactions. Developers who use an alternative payment method have to pay Google 4 percentage points less. The commission goes from 30 to 26 percent or from 15 to 11 percent.
Google has allowed app developers to offer alternative payment methods to customers in South Korea since this year. The company was required to do so by the South Korean government in March. In the same month, Google and Spotify announced that Spotify customers could now choose which payment method they want to use when paying for a Spotify subscription. Google announced the test program at the time.
At the end of July, Google announced that it will allow alternative payment methods in Europe in the Play Store. The company did this to be in line with a new European law, the Digital Markets Act. This law forces major tech companies to open up their platforms more to competitors. Tweakers wrote a background article about this European law. Alternative payment methods in digital app stores are also a topic of discussion in the United States. At the beginning of August, two members of the United States House of Representatives introduced a bill aimed at tackling the dominant position of Apple and Google in their app stores. A similar bill was introduced in the US Senate a week before.