Google mandates play billings for in-app purchases

Google on Tuesday said that apps that offer in-app purchases on Play Store have to use the Google Play billing system and pay 30% of the purchase as a service fee.

Google even added that while this policy for using Google Play's billing system has been in existence, there was a need to clarify it.

"Today, we are clarifying a Play billing policy, which has been long-standing and existing...Recent incidents and otherwise have shown us that clarifying policies and applying them equitably and equally is very important for the ecosystem ...every developer that chooses to sell digital content through Google Play will use Play billing," Google Director Business Development, Games and Applications Purnima Kochikar said in a virtual briefing.

However, physical goods (like ride-hailing services) or paying for content subscription via the developer's own website will not require Play billing.

"You can also distribute your apps to the web, there are multiple ways. So, if an app is distributed through a third-party store or through the web, the Play policy does not apply...It's all about openness," she added saying that Android allows developers to distribute their apps via third-party stores.

"We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair. Not only does this approach allow us to continuously reinvest in the platform, but this business model also aligns our success directly with the success of developers," said a Google Blogpost.

It also said that this policy is only applicable to less than 3% of the developers with apps on the Google Play store.

The company further stated it would make changes in the next version of Android to make it easier to use other app stores on its devices without compromising safety.

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