Back in September 2020, Google stated that it would start forcing developers to use the Google Play billing system. Naturally, this means that developers who utilize it also have to pay a revenue cut to the company for every transaction of a digital good made via their app. This policy has always existed but was clarified last year, with Google cautioning that all developers have to be compliant with it by September 30, 2021. Developers who have still not made progress on this front will be pleased to know that the firm has now extended this deadline by six months.
Google says that its billing system is extremely secure and offers a seamless experience for both developers and end-users. While most developers already utilize it in their offerings, those who don’t were required to transition to the company’s billing system within one year after the original announcement in September 2020. Google highlighted that this policy has always been there, but the language in its documentation was further clarified to indicate that it applies to all applications which allow the purchase of digital goods.
Google has received feedback from developers that due to the ongoing pandemic, it has been very difficult for engineering teams working remotely across the globe to develop and issue updates to their apps to make them compliant with the company’s policy. These issues have been highlighted both by small and major developers.
As such, Google is now extending the deadline until March 31, 2022, for those who opt for it. It is important to note that this extension will not kick in unless developers appeal for an extension via the Help Center. Although the implication is that the deadline has been extended by six months, Google says that it will review each appeal on a case-by-case basis.
Interestingly, while Google’s policies regarding billing are similar to Apple’s, Microsoft, on the other hand, does allow developers to integrate third-party billing systems into their apps provided that they meet certain requirements, and it does not even take a revenue cut from purchases made using these alternative payment methods.