Google’s “interim processes” must be followed by developers until the company “builds APIs that will facilitate integration in 2023,” according to the corporation

Google will allow app developers to offer an alternative invoicing mechanism for in-app purchases made within India beginning April 26, 2023, as it begins to implement the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) most recent antitrust recommendations.

Google said on February 22 that it is amending Google Play’s Payments policy in response to “recent regulatory developments in India,” which will take effect on April 26.

Google play store : a principal app

It’s Play Store is the principal app marketplace for Android, and it has specific standards in place for in-app purchases and billing. Previously, Google required developers to use it’s billing system for in-app purchases, which comes with a 30% commission fee to Google. However, some developers and authorities have criticized this policy, claiming that it inhibits competition and stifles innovation.

In recent years, there have been global debates and legal proceedings about app store policy, including inquiries into it and Apple’s dominance in the mobile app market. Several regulators, notably India’s CCI, have raised worry about these corporations’ potential abuse of market power.

Given the dynamic nature of the technology business, it is likely that additional advancements or regulatory actions have occurred since my knowledge cutoff.

Developers will be able to offer clients a paying alternative other than it, when they purchase in-app digital content as a result of this change. If a user utilizes the alternative billing scheme, the transaction will still be subject to a service fee, albeit at a 4 percent lower rate.

In contrast to the typical service fee of 10-30%, this basically means that developers will be required to pay a service fee ranging from 6-26% for in-app purchases and subscriptions based on the type of app/service and the annual income it produces on it.

According to the most recent update on it’s support website, beginning April 26, 2023, app developers will be able to offer an alternate charging mechanism for in-app purchases within India. This move is in accordance with recent antitrust orders issued by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). As part of this new policy, app developers will be able to allow customers to pay for in-app digital content using ways other than it. In accordance with current policy, It compels developers to use its payment system for in-app purchases, and it charges a 30% commission fee on all sales. However, some developers are offended by this technique because they believe the commission is too high.

Developers will be permitted to give clients alternatives to Google Play as a payment method under this new rule. As a result of having more freedom to monetise their apps, businesses will be less reliant on Google’s payment mechanism.The  Play service fee has never been only a payment processing fee. “It reflects the value of Android and Google Play, as well as the entire spectrum of developer services we provide, including app distribution and discovery, the commerce platform, developer tools, analytics, training, and more,” according to the company’s support page.

It has established “interim procedures” for developers in order to provide an alternative billing approach until official APIs that enable integration are developed later this year. According to the company’s help page, developers who opt to construct an alternative pricing system will be obliged to convert to the company’s automated APIs once they become available later this year. The move is noteworthy because it enables more payment choices and may result in lower rates for consumers, which will benefit both Indian developers and clients. It also represents a shift in it’s payment policies, which have been scrutinized by global regulators. The CCI reviewed it’s price structure and urged for greater developer competition and lower developer fees.

Finishing Up

In light of CCI’s decision. According to Rameesh Kailasam, president and CEO of industry association IndiaTech, the Google commission “may kill the startup ecosystem and force them out of the app market” at the time.


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