You know how Apple enforces all in-app payments through their billing system? Yes, Google will implement a similar policy on March 31st. But strangely enough, Google just made a last-minute swerve. It is now exploring a user-choice billing option that will really improve the payment experience across Android apps.
The idea behind User Choice Accounting is pretty simple. Participating apps no longer have to force users into a browser window for external payment options. Instead, they can integrate their own payment system directly into their apps – as long as “Pay with Google” is also possible.
Google is still investigating user-choice billing, so the rules aren’t set in stone. Also, the company has only confirmed that it is testing this system with Spotify. Other developers are still being forced to adopt Pay with Google and abandon their browser-based payment systems on March 31, which is unfortunate. (There’s some leniency here, as developers can appeal to Google to extend the March 31 deadline.)
The good news is that user-choice billing will improve your experience as a customer. Once it’s rolled out, you can open an app like Spotify and pay for a subscription using any billing system. If you don’t feel like entering your credit card information, there’s Google’s payment system. And if you want to point the finger at Google, you can pay Spotify directly.
However, we’re not quite sure what the future will bring. Google is cutting all payments made through its billing system, so many developers have responded by raising in-app prices. I imagine Google will make fair pricing a requirement for user-choice billing, but if customers choose to use Google’s payment system, developers will still lose profits.
Source: Google, Spotify
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