3 min Applications

Apple to charge a premium for alternative payment methods in App Store

Apple to charge a premium for alternative payment methods in App Store

Apple has relaxed the terms for alternative payment methods for the U.S. version of the App Store. However, developers must pay a high fee to process these payment processes.

Apple has updated the terms for alternative payment methods in the U.S. App Store. It is doing so in response to the court decision in an antitrust case brought by Epic Games. In addition to the tech giant’s proprietary payment platform, developers can now offer their customers their own payment options in their apps.

However, in doing so, developers must give end users the choice of which platform they want to use for in-app purchases: the developer’s or Apple’s own platform.

Apple’s announcement comes shortly after earlier the U.S. Supreme Court declared inadmissible an appeal by Epic Games following an earlier ruling that did find in favour of Apple. The adjustments the court imposed on Apple are therefore effective immediately.

Adders under the grass

While Apple’s announcement seems like good news, however, there are many snags. To allow the use of alternative payment methods, app developers must first seek permission from Apple.

In addition, developers who run in-app processes through another platform provider must remit a commission of as much as 27 percent to the tech giant. This amount goes to 12 percent if developers sign up for Apple’s SMB program.

The reduced 12 percent rate also applies to those developers who automatically renew app subscriptions for those subscriptions that have been active for more than two years.

Technical requirements and disclaimer

Apple has also provided a list of technical requirements for offering third-party payment services. Links to these payment methods are required to open in the default browser and not in the app itself. Also, developers must not redirect links or otherwise intervene.

Furthermore, end users of apps that handle their in-app purchases through another platform will see a disclaimer stating Apple is not responsible for the privacy and security surrounding these particular purchases. Apple also states that it cannot verify the prices and promotions given by these developers.

Epic Games response negative

In a response, Epic Games states that with the fee, Apple still wants to make it very difficult for developers to offer alternative payment methods. Also by imposing technical requirements, Apple would like to make such use more difficult. Epic Games announces that it will go to court again.

Also read: Will Apple and Google be forced to open up their app stores?