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Google expands Play Store billing options worldwide but not in US

Google Play Store

One step closer to Third-Party billing option to Google Play store.

Google expanded its “User Choice Billing” trial to let more non-gaming Android app developers offer third-party payment options. Developers will enjoy a 4 percent reduction in service fees when consumers select a new third-party pricing option, which the developer — not Google — must support. 9to5Google broke the news.

Developers from the EEA, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia can join User Choice Billing as of September 1. Google says 99 percent of Play Store developers qualify for a 15 percent service fee, but revenue-generating apps like Spotify pay 30 percent on in-app purchases.

Google and Apple have garnered global criticism for the fees they take from digital store transactions, which locked developers out of third-party in-app payment systems. It offers a third-party payment solution on the Play Store for South Korean consumers after the government approved a law banning in-app payment mandates. South Korea developer fees are discounted by 4%.

Google will collaborate with developers to roll out third-party billing gradually, like Spotify’s experiment. There’s no set date yet. Users may not immediately notice different payment alternatives. Once it’s accessible, consumers can choose which payment system to use based on fees and features. If they choose an alternative payment mechanism, they must contact the provider about refunds and cancellations.

The User Choice Billing pilot is only for apps, not games. At this moment, it’s for Play Store users in the EEA, Australia, India, Japan, and Indonesia. Google plans to expand the programme, but it’s unclear when it’ll reach the US.

We haven’t seen these options in any apps yet, but Google says the initiative is ongoing and we should hear more soon. The experimental scheme marks the project’s biggest advance since March. This could debut this year or in 2023.

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