Google to offer alternative billing system on Play Store in South Korea

Google to offer alternative billing system on Play Store in South Korea
5 Nov, 2021

After slashing Play Store fees globally from 30% to 15% in October, Google has conceded to the demands of lawmakers in South Korea and agreed to add an alternative in-app billing system alongside the Google billing system for users in South Korea. 

"In response to the recent legislation, developers will now be able to add an alternative in-app billing system, alongside Google Play’s billing system, for their mobile and tablet users in South Korea. At checkout, users will be able to choose which billing system to use," Wilson White, Senior Director of Public Policy at Google said in a blog post.  

Both Google and Apple force developers to use their billing system for any in-app purchase or transactions related to the app listed and downloaded from their respective stores.  

It has been a major bone of contention between the developer community and the two companies.  

Epic Games' popular battle royale game Fortnite was kicked out of the Apple App Store in 2020 for not complying with the same rules. 

Many developers have called it anti-competitive as it restricts them from offering their services at lower prices to customers. This is also a subject of investigation in several countries including India.   

Keeping their proprietary billing system as the only mode of payment has helped both Google and Apple rake billions of dollars in revenue from their respective app stores.

According to Sensor Tower's latest findings, the worldwide consumer spending on mobile apps rose to $33.6 billion across both stores in the third quarter of 2021.  

Google and Apple claim that they invest a lot of money in keeping their app stores secure and offering high-quality experiences to users.  

White also points out, "We work hard to keep users safe and maintain the experience they have come to expect from apps and games downloaded from Google Play."  

"Alternative billing systems may not offer the same protections and features of Google Play's billing system—such as parental controls, family payment methods, subscription management, Google Play gift cards, and Play Points," warned White.