Google Now Lets Apps Use Third-Party Billing in EU, Apple Yet to Announce Plans
In response to the Digital Markets Act receiving final approval from the Council of the European Union this week, Google today announced that it now allows developers of non-gaming apps to offer alternative billing systems to users in the European Economic Area (EEA), including countries in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Google will reduce its commission by 3% for in-app purchases made through an alternative billing system in the EEA. Google says this policy means 99% of developers will be charged a fee of 12% when a customer completes a transaction through a third-party payment processor, compared to 15% through Google Play's billing system. Google said this reduced fee supports the company's investments in Google Play and Android.
Google said it expects to expand its alternative billing system program to developers of gaming apps for users in the EEA in advance of the Digital Markets Act's effective date, which is at least six months away, according to the European Council.
Google Play's billing system will continue to be required for all apps distributed through the store in all other countries, including the United States.
Developers must complete a declaration form to offer alternative billing systems in the EEA. Starting August 1, 2022, developers will be required to report to Google Play the amount of all paid transactions from the alternative billing system.
Developers interested in learning more about the program and signing up can visit this support document on Google's website. Google said additional program requirements and safety measures will be shared in the coming weeks.
Apple has yet to announce any plans to allow App Store apps to offer alternative billing systems to users throughout the EEA. To comply with regulations in the Netherlands, Apple allows dating apps to offer alternative billing systems in that country, with Apple reducing its commission by 3% for transactions. Last month, Apple also started allowing developers in South Korea to offer alternative billing systems to users in that country.
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