Google Play Store to Support Alternative Billing Systems in Europe

Posted on July 19, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Android, Google, Mobile with 6 Comments

Google announced this morning a new program to support alternative billing systems on its Play Store in Europe. Soon, users of non-gaming apps in Europe will be allowed to use another billing system than Google’s to pay for digital content and services.

This new program follows the recent approval of the Digital Market Act (DMA) in Europe, which will require large online platforms to open up their services to third parties and stop giving their own services preferential treatment. Back in March, Google had already allowed Spotify to use its own billing system on Android as part of a pilot program.

“Although the DMA does not take effect for some time, we are launching this program now to allow us to work closely with our developer partners and ensure our compliance plans serve the needs of our shared users and the broader ecosystem,” explained Estelle Werth, Director, EU Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google. The exec added that Google plans to expand billing alternatives to developers of gaming apps for their users in the EEA, in advance of the DMA’s effective date.”

In practice, Android developers who choose to use an alternative billing system for their non-gaming apps in Europe will still be subjected to a 3% service fee to support Google’s investments in Play Store. “Since 99% of developers currently qualify for a service fee of 15% or less, those developers would pay a service fee of 12% or lower based on transactions through alternative billing for EEA users acquired through the Play platform,” Werth explained.

If Google is planning to fully support user choice billing in Europe to comply with the Digital Markets Act, the company isn’t giving up on requiring its own billing system in other markets. Apple is currently in the same boat with its iOS App Store, though the company will likely soon follow Google’s footsteps in Europe.

Tagged with , ,

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (6)

6 responses to “Google Play Store to Support Alternative Billing Systems in Europe”

  1. anoldamigauser

    "Soon, users of non-gaming apps in Europe will be allowed to use another billing system..."

    Because gaming apps are where the money is, they are excluded...so this is a baby step, but it is a step.

    • SvenJ

      Maybe read the rest. "The exec added that Google plans to expand billing alternatives to developers of gaming apps for their users in the EEA, in advance of the DMA’s effective date.” So maybe not a baby step, but a delayed full step.

      • anoldamigauser

        Yes, missed that though I did read the whole article. I also like that they are discounting the charge for other developers by the 3% they are charging those who use a different payment method, though it is unclear if this applies to those paying 30% as it only mentions those developers currently paying 15%.


        They should extend this to other markets, not simply the EEA (EU plus Norway, Sweden and Iceland), since they are under investigation just about everywhere. Anything that puts them in a better light is probably worthwhile.

  2. JH_Radio

    So what they gonna do? not do this in the US because they don't have to?


  3. merlinv

    I have a feeling this will end up in the US, at some point. But ya they aren't going to take a pay cut until they have too...