Google allows alternative payment methods in Play Store due to European rules

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Google will allow alternative payment methods for the Play Store in Europe. The company does so because of the upcoming DMA legislation. From now on, all apps, not just games, can offer alternative payment methods. Google also reduces the commission.

Google makes it for developers in the European Economic Area possible to implement its own payment system. That must meet certain requirements regarding safety and user-friendliness, but those requirements do not seem to be particularly strict.

It was already possible for game developers to allow alternative payment methods, but Google is now expanding that to all developers who use the Play payment system in the Store. The company says it will no longer uninstall or deny updates to non-gaming apps if they offer such an alternative. It remains mandatory to also offer Google Play’s own payment system, but an alternative may therefore exist.

The use of alternative payment systems will also become cheaper. Instead of the fifteen percent commission that developers pay for the Play system, they pay twelve percent when using an alternative. The policy only applies to European developers and applies to users in the EEA, which means the European Union and countries such as Norway and Liechtenstein.

Google says that with the action it is pre-sorting for European rules. The company points to the Digital Markets Act. This is a law set up by the European Commission. The law forces large tech companies to open their platforms more to competitors. Tweakers wrote a background article about the law last year. With the DMA, tech companies must, among other things, open their app stores for alternative payment providers, for example.

An issue about alternative payment providers has been going on for years between Epic Games and Apple. In 2020, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store because Epic added its own payment system for in-app purchases. Since then, the big tech companies have come under fire from both politicians and developers for their alleged monopolies.

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