Google expands ‘Play User Choice Billing’ to India: Here’s what it means


Last year, Google received a huge blow when the regulators in South Korea passed new legislation, forcing the company to change the in-app payment systems in Android. Later Google began a pilot program for the “Play User Choice Billing” in South Korea, allowing developers to use third-party payment systems for subscriptions instead of Google Play’s billing system on Android. Now, the company is expanding the pilot program to more countries, including India.
The ‘Play User Choice Billing’ pilot program has been expanded to four regions – Australia, India, Indonesia and European Economic Area (EEA). Starting September 1st, developers can offer an alternative third-party payment option to users’ in the regions mentioned above. However, the pilot program is only open to non-game app developers, so games on the Play Store cannot offer an alternative payment option to users.
It will be up to users to choose whether they want to pay through Google’s Play Store billing system or the third-party payment system offered by the developer. With the third-party billing system, the commission will be reduced by 4 per cent, which often ranges between 15 to 30 per cent, when a customer pays through Google’s billing system.
However, there are some conditions that developers need to comply with if they select to offer an alternative billing system. First, the developers need to be registered business, and the billing system should comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The developers are required to provide customer support to those who select to pay using the alternative billing option. Further, the alternative billing channel must have a grievance redressal for unauthorised transactions. If a developer decides to enable or disable the user choice billing, it should notify Google in advance, and the changes will reflect from the first of the coming month.
Google began this pilot program earlier this year in March with Spotify. In a blog post, Sameer Samat, vice president, product management, Google said, “This is a significant milestone and the first on any major app store — whether on mobile, desktop, or game consoles.”





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