Google allows third-party payments on Android in South Korea

What happened now? Google announced this week that it is complying with a new South Korean law that says it should allow the use of alternative payment systems for Android apps. The company will also cut service fees for transactions that use third-party payments, in addition to other changes made in the last month.

Google notified South Korean Android developers who can start adding alternative payment methods to their apps. When Android users in South Korea make purchases on the Google Play Store, they can choose to pay through Google Play or a third-party payment processor during checkout. The drop in service fees for third-party billing will be compounded by a fee cut that Google discussed on its October 21 Android developer blog.

According to current regulations, the service charge for 99 percent of developers whose apps are on Google Play is now 15 percent or less, up from 30. E-books and music streaming services are now having a right for a 10 percent service charge, and recurring subscription fees will drop from 30 percent to 15 percent on January 1, 2022.

South Korean third-party billing systems will cut service charges by four percent across the board. For example, purchases that would charge a developer 15 percent through billing through Google Play will drop to 11 percent through third-party billing. Likewise, e-books paid through alternative systems will only be charged six percent.

The new law that Google adheres to was passed by the South Korean National Assembly in late August. South Korea became the first country in the world to ban app store owners like Apple and Google from forcing developers to route purchases through their billing systems. In South Korea, it even became known as the Anti-Google Law. Apple has not yet met this requirement.

Google emphasized that it considers its billing system to be more secure than third-party alternatives, noting features such as parental controls or family payments. It states how many people buy Google Play gift cards in South Korea and how they will only go through the store’s payment system. It also highlighted things that Play store fees pay for, such as security and developer tools.

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