Google extends the Play billing policy deadline for app developers in India for the second time

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Google extends the Play billing policy deadline for app developers in India for the second time
The decision to further defer this is reportedly due to the Reserve Bank of India’s mandate on recurring payments, and to give app developers more time to update their payment systems.Unsplash
  • Google has further extended the deadline for app developers to integrate with the Play Store’s billing system in India.
  • The new deadline is March 22, 2021, after a backlash from the Indian startup community.
  • It is now giving more time citing the RBI’s mandate for recurring payments in India.
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Google has decided to extend the deadline for app developers to integrate their payment system with the Play Store’s billing system in India. The deadline has been extended from March 31, 2022 to October 31, 2022, according to a report by Money Control.

“We recognize the unique needs of the developer ecosystem in India and remain committed to partnering with developers in India on their growth journey. In October 2020, we had announced 31st March 2022 as the timeline for developers in India to integrate with Play’s billing system. We are extending this to 31st October 2022 to provide developers in India the required product support for recurring payments through convenient user payment systems, including UPI and wallets, and also provide them more time in light of the changes to India’s recurring digital payments guidelines,” a Google spokesperson said.

This is the second time that Google has extended the deadline for app developers in India who use an alternative payment system for their service, to integrate with the Play Store’s billing system. Google last year faced massive backlash from the Indian startup community as the company planned to strictly enforce its 30% app store commission fee. Google then decided to extend the deadline for app developers to March 31, 2022.

What does this mean for developers



Google last year announced it would make it mandatory for any app offering digital goods and services to use the Play Store’s billing system and pay a 30% commission for in-app purchases. Existing apps that use an alternative in-app billing system will have to remove it and use the Play Store’s billing system.

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Google’s reason behind this is that users have “safe, reliable ways to pay, and can manage their payments in a central location.” But for developers it means using the Play Store’s billing system and Google getting a 30% cut from the in-app purchases. The policy covers apps offering any type of digital goods or services like virtual currencies, extra lives in games, add-on items, subscriptions, ad-free versions, and more.

The tech giant later reduced the commission to 15% but only for the first $1 million revenue that developers earn through the Play Store’s billing system every year. This reduction was announced in March earlier this year and it came into effect in July.

In October this year, Google also decreased the service fee for all Play Store apps offering subscriptions to 15% from 30%. The new Play Store fee will be charged from January 1, 2022 onwards. It also lowered the Play Store subscription fee for ebook and music streaming apps to 10%.

With the deadline extension, there’s more time for app developers in India but Google isn’t changing the billing system, at least for now. The company along with Apple continues to face backlash for its app store fees and mandatory billing systems. But change is taking place with South Korea becoming the first country to ban Apple and Google from preventing app developers from using other billing systems. Google is also facing an antitrust probe from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the mandatory use of its billing system in the Play Store.

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