Google Play Will Let Developers Use Alternative Billing Systems in South Korea, While Apple Has Yet to Make Changes

The South Korean government recently passed a law that bans Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app purchase systems in the App Store and Google Play respectively, and Google has now announced changes to comply with the law.

google play alternative billing
In a blog post, Google said it will be giving developers the option to add an alternative in-app billing system alongside the Play Store's billing system for Android smartphone and tablet users in South Korea. Google said the users will be able to choose which billing system to use at checkout, as seen in the example image above, and the company plans to provide developers with more details "in the coming weeks and months."

Google still plans to charge a service fee on in-app purchases completed through an alternative billing system, but it will reduce the fee by four percentage points. For the "vast majority" of developers, this means the fee will drop from 15% for transactions through Google Play's billing system to 11% for transactions through an alternate billing system.

"Like any business, we need to have a sustainable model to continue to improve our products while maintaining important user protections," said Google, in explaining why it charges a service fee on the Google Play store. "Just as it costs developers money to build an app, it costs us money to build and maintain an operating system and app store that makes those apps easily and safely accessible by consumers."

Google also warned that alternative billing systems may not offer the same security and privacy protections as Google Play's billing system.

Apple meanwhile has yet to make any changes to App Store billing in South Korea. The company previously said the law "will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, [and] make it difficult to manage their purchases," while making parental controls less effective.

In October, Apple told the South Korean government that it was "already in compliance with the new law and did not need to change its app store policy," according to Reuters. We've reached out to Apple for comment and we'll update this story if we hear back.

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
orka desktop

MacStadium Releases Free Orka Desktop macOS Virtualization Software

Wednesday July 10, 2024 6:55 am PDT by
Mac cloud services provider MacStadium today unveiled Orka Desktop, a free virtualization tool that allows Mac users to create and manage macOS virtual machines locally via an easy-to-use admin panel. Orka users can create or download custom macOS images locally for their own personal use, or to collaborate with team members using a familiar workflow, versioning, audit, and review controls....

Top Rated Comments

btrach144 Avatar
35 months ago
“In October, Apple told the South Korean government that it was "already in compliance with the new law and did not need to change its app store policy”

Isn’t that a straight up lie?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
35 months ago
Hopefully Apple will follow Google. It’s just a matter of time.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Altivec88 Avatar
35 months ago
If Google charges a fee of their choosing, I don't see how this accomplishes anything. Apple should do the same thing but charge the same 15% they always do. Technically, they will have multiple payment systems that follows the law. The only difference is that you pay more to use something else. lol. I think these laws are nonsense. These are Googles and Apples store and OS, they have the right to charge what they want and people have the right to buy their devices or not. Governments should stay out of the market place.

With Google' solution, their 11% plus the other payment provider mark up will generally be the same cost as just using Google's payment method. Anyone that would take the risk of using the other payment methods without saving any money is crazy.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ebarella Avatar
35 months ago

“In October, Apple told the South Korean government that it was "already in compliance with the new law and did not need to change its app store policy”

Isn’t that a straight up lie?
That's why the "we follow local laws" excuse is terrible. Yes, when it comes to remove dissident apps or the Quran, not when it affects profits
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
35 months ago

Apple and Google have created a situation where they are a duopoly.
Apple and Google didn't create a situation. In fact... they were LATE to the smartphone game.

There were PLENTY of platforms before them. Big ones, too. Symbian, Palm, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, etc.

But those other guys couldn't survive.

You could say it was those other guys' FAILURES that created a duopoly.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dwaite Avatar
35 months ago

Saying go do your payments, but we are still going to charge you 11%....even though we did nothing as a middle man in the transaction, goes against the spirit of the laws and regulations being passed and discussed.... I can only see this backfiring and causing more strict regulation.
A transaction that was initiated because of an application built on top of Google Play services, being sold under an agreement with Google Play which includes an agreement around proceeds on initial app sale and on subscriptions and one-time purchases made within the app.

The "no middleman" alternative is to not use Google Play services, not list on Google Play, and do your own marketing/listing to convince users to side-load your app.

The reality is that 'small developers' are going to get little direct value from going outside the Play store. What you'll see is:

* alternative stores with varying degrees of success and varying fee structures
* large companies pushing to side-load apps both to realize more of the revenue and to work around any business restrictions in the store agreement.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)