Google has announced that it will enforce a rule requiring all Android apps on the Play Store to use its payment system, taking a 30% cut from all transactions.
The company would no longer allow any Android app to bypass the Play Store’s payment system, which Nextflix, Spotify, and many others had been doing so far. Android app developers have until September 30, 2021, to start using Google’s billing system, or else they will have to leave the platform.
Google said in a blog post that it is now providing “clarity” on billing policies because there was confusion among developers about what kind of transactions require the use of Play Store’s billing system.
The new rule brings Google Play’s policies in line with Apple’s App Store policies, which is already under fire from developers like Epic over several issues, including its own 30% cut.
Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, also updated its Android app in August to let gamers directly pay Epic for in-app purchases in the game, bypassing Google Play billing system.
And Google responded by kicking out Fortnite from the Play Store for violating policies. Although, Fortnite remains available on Android, just not on the Play Store, which nevertheless led to Epic Games suing Google.
Earlier, Apple argued against the scrutiny of its App Store policies by stating that other app stores, like Google Play, also take a 30% cut from in-app purchases.
So far, Google’s policy guidelines said that developers should use Google’s billing system, but it wasn’t enforced until now.
Even though Google didn’t call out the apps that had been neglecting the rule, it just mentioned that 97% of developers selling digital goods already follow its policies.
However, we know that Netflix and Spotify prompt users inside their Android apps to use a credit card to pay them directly.