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Google extends timeline for Indian developers till March 2022 to integrate with Play billing

economictimes.indiatimes.com

The development comes days after many Indian developers and startups had raised concerns around Google’s Play billing system, saying the tech giant cannot force Indian app developers/owners to sell digital services by compulsorily using its billing system.

New Delhi: Google on Monday said it is deferring the deadline for developers in India to integrate with its Play billing system by six months to March 31, 2022. Interestingly, Paytm – which competes with Google Pay – has announced the launch of its Android Mini App Store to support Indian developers.In a blogpost on Monday, Google said it had heard some additional questions from the developer community in India after posting its clarification to its Play Payments policy at the end of September.The company is also setting up ‘listening sessions’ with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns and will also hold ‘policy workshops’ to help clear any additional questions about its Play Store policies, it added.”… we’re also extending the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system, to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system we set a timeline of March 31, 2022,” Google said.Google had previously stated that apps that choose to sell digital content through its Play Store have to use Google Play billing system and pay a percentage of the in-app purchase as a fee. It had given time until September 30, 2021 to complete the necessary updates.The tech giant emphasised that the payments policy is not new and it has always required developers who distribute their apps on Play, to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods.”To be clear, the policy only applies if a developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, which is less than 3 per cent of developers with apps on Google Play,” it said.Any app that offers in-app purchase of digital goods like unlocking additional features or buying tokens to power up a game character or paying for songs, will be required to use Google Play’s billing system.Google charges a 30 per cent cut of the payment made within the app. However, cases like payment for physical goods (like ride-hailing services), bill payments and content subscription via the developer’s own website will not require the Play billing system.Many Indian startups had raised concerns around the steep charge, while some were of the view that India needs a local app store to provide more choice to consumers.On concerns around limited payment mechanisms, Google said Play billing supports more than 290 forms of payment globally.”Over the last several years we have added more local forms of payment in India including credit and debit cards, net banking, carrier billing, gift cards, and all supported UPI apps. And we will continue to engage with developers and consumers on adding additional forms of payment,” it added.Google also noted that…

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