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Google Launches User Choice Billing Pilot In India, Four Other Markets

Google lets developers offer users an alternative billing system along with Google Play’s billing mechanism.

Google Launches User Choice Billing Pilot In India, Four Other Markets

India, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, and the European Economic Area are getting the service

  • All non-gaming developers can participate in the pilot
  • Google will charge a service fee from developers for the service
  • Google did not specify service fee that it would collect from developers

Google is extending its third-party in-app billing pilot programme to new markets including India, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and European Economic Area (EEA). With the latest update, non-gaming developers of mobile or tablet apps can use an additional billing system along with that of Google Play. Service fees will be levied from developers under the choice billing pilot project. When a consumer chooses to use an alternative billing system, the service fee paid by the developer will be reduced by 4 percent.

The search giant announced the expansion of the user choice billing pilot programme to India and other four markets via its support page. With the latest update, developers of non-gaming apps with a registered business in India, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and the European Economic Area (EEA) can use an alternative billing mechanism alongside that of Google Play.

There will be a service fee for developers which gets reduced by 4 percent when an alternate system is used by consumers, confirmed Google.

"We will be sharing more in the coming months as we continue to build and iterate with our pilot partners", PTI reports quoting a Google spokesperson. At checkout, users are able to choose which billing system to use.

Under the pilot programme, developers are mandated to report the amount of all paid transactions from the alternative billing system to Google Play for invoicing.

The Alphabet-owned company and Apple are currently facing global scrutiny for forcing software developers to use their payment systems, charging high fees and allegedly compelling anticompetitive behaviour. Earlier in March, Google allowed Spotify to use either Spotify's payment system as well as Google Play Billing in select countries as part of the new initiative.

This week, we discuss Android 13 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Nithya P Nair
Nithya P Nair is a journalist with more than five years of experience in digital journalism. She specialises in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking in Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations. More
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