Changes to Google Play's billing requirements for developers serving users in South Korea

From August 2, 2023, developers offering alternative billing to users in South Korea must use alternative billing APIs. To get started, see the following details and visit our alternative billing API integration guide.

As a result of legislation, we offer all developers the ability to offer an alternative billing system alongside Google Play's billing system for their mobile and tablet users in South Korea. If a user pays through an alternative billing system, the Google Play service fee will be reduced by 4%. For more information, see Payments policy.

If you don’t want to offer an alternative billing system, you do not need to take any action.

Integrating an alternative billing system

In order to maintain a safe and consistent user experience, developers will need to satisfy several requirements.

If you would like to offer users in South Korea a choice of alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Complete the billing declaration form, accept the Terms of Service, and complete any onboarding steps required to enroll in the program through Google's support team (for example, set up a payments profile as required).
  2. Follow trust and safety requirements by certifying PCI DSS compliance and giving users a way to report fraudulent transactions.
  3. Complete the integration of the alternative billing APIs as described in this API integration guide.
  4. Update your Play Console alternative billing settings to opt in or out of each of your apps, manage payment method logos, and subscription management URLs.
  5. Report to Google Play all authorized transactions from users in South Korea within 24 hours using alternative billing APIs.
  6. Pay an adjusted Google Play service fee for invoiced transactions that use an alternative billing system outside of Google Play’s billing system.

If you’ve already completed the declaration form and enrollment process, and are migrating over to the alternative billing APIs, you will need to complete steps 3 and 4 in the preceding section. Once you start reporting transactions using the APIs, you no longer need to send transactions manually.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact our support team.

 

Open declaration form

Frequently asked questions

Why are you still requiring Google Play's billing system alongside the developer's?

Google Play believes that users should have the choice to use Play’s billing system when they make digital goods purchase from apps installed in Google Play. We built Google Play’s billing system to the highest standards for privacy and safety so users can be confident when they make in-app purchases. Alternative billing systems also may not offer the same protections or payment options and features of Google Play's billing system, such as parental controls, family payment methods, subscription management, Google Play gift cards, and Play Points.

Why are you still requiring a service fee?
Google Play’s service fee has never been simply a fee for payment processing. It reflects the value provided by Android and Play and supports our continued investments across Android and Google Play, allowing for the user features that people count on. While service fees for distributing apps via Android and Google Play will continue to be based on digital sales on the platform, we recognize that developers will incur costs to support their billing system, so when a user selects alternative billing, we will reduce the developer’s service fee by 4%.
For which types of products can I offer South Korean users the choice of an alternative billing system?

Alternative billing systems can be used for in-app purchases and subscriptions sold to mobile and tablet users. For more information, see updated Payments policy.

What is the service fee for digital transactions using an alternative billing system?

For users who select an alternative billing system, the service fee will be your current service fee reduced by 4%. For users who select Google Play’s billing system, the service fee will remain as it is today. The service fee for developers who continue with only Google Play's billing systems remains the same, with 99% of developers qualifying for a service fee of 15% or less.

How is the service fee calculated and invoiced for transactions made through an alternative billing system?

The service fee is calculated based on the paid transactions from mobile and tablet users in South Korea. You will receive an invoice with a due date and payment instructions.

How and when do I submit transactions made through an alternative billing system?

Starting April 6, 2023, transactions made through the alternative billing system can be reported using the alternative billing APIs and must be reported within 24 hours of the payment being authorized. These APIs streamline reporting for developers, and also enable transactions through an alternative billing system to be reflected in Google Play’s Top Charts.

Until August 2, 2023, you can continue to manually self-report the transactions if you have not yet integrated with the alternative billing APIs. In this case, you are required to self-report the amount of paid transactions once a month by the 5th business day of the month. For example, the report for the transactions made in December 2021 will be due January 7, 2022.

What benefits do the alternative billing APIs provide? Can I integrate with the alternative billing APIs for rendering the user choice screen before using the APIs to report transactions?

To streamline the developer experience, the alternative billing APIs are designed to be integrated and used together. The alternative billing APIs provide the following benefits:

  • Alternative billing screens rendered by Google Play, meaning you do not have to build and maintain the information and/or choice screens yourself.
  • Simplified transaction reporting, which removes manual touch points and mitigates aggregation or reconciliation errors.
  • Alternative billing system transactions reported via API will be reflected in Google Play’s Top Charts.

In addition, we have also made the following improvements to help make it easier for you to adopt alternative billing:

  • Streamlined the user choice experience.
  • Self-serve management of alternative billing settings through Play Console, such as enabling or disabling user choice billing per eligible app per eligible market, management of payment method logos, and subscription management URLs.
  • Exportable reports of alternative billing system transactions reported via API containing additional information such as exchange rate used, associated app package id, and service fee rate.
Where can I learn more about how to integrate with alternative billing APIs?

It is easy to extend your existing integration with Google Play’s billing system to leverage alternative billing APIs. The alternative billing APIs are built upon the same design patterns and principles as our Play Billing Library and Play Developer APIs. This means it is compatible with your existing designs and will be familiar to your teams.

In our integration guide, we provide detailed guidelines and resources on how to get started and address various alternative billing use cases including one time and recurring purchases, and have sample code snippets to make it easy to implement. We welcome developer feedback on these APIs and any additional resources that would be helpful. If you have any questions or feedback about the alternative billing APIs, contact us.

I am already participating in the program, what do I need to do to transition to using the alternative billing APIs?

You will need to integrate with the alternative billing APIs and update your alternative billing settings in Play Console. Once you start reporting transactions using the APIs, you no longer need to send transactions manually.

Can I charge a different price on the alternate billing system from what I charge Google Play’s billing system?

Yes, developers can have different prices on each billing system if they choose.

Can developers promote an alternative billing system within their apps?

Yes, developers using an alternative billing system can promote the alternative billing system within their app, but they must also follow our UX guidelines to ensure users understand the choice provided and have a consistent user experience.

Does Google Play allow outlinks for digital content purchases in South Korea?

Yes, Google Play does allow developers to link out within their apps, to present web-based payments as an alternative payment method for mobile and tablet users in South Korea. Like other alternative payment methods, these would be subject to the requirements for integrating an alternative billing system that we list on this page.

It is important to note that the outlink payments are simply web-based payments that are handled using a web interface. We do require the outlink option to be shown within the developer’s app using an embedded webview which presents a safer, more understandable, consistent user experience.

We also require developers to follow our trust and safety and user experience requirements as further explained in our UX guidelines. And as we have already announced, developers receive a 4% service fee reduction for transactions when users in South Korea choose to pay through this alternative outlink payment.

For more information about communicating with your Korean users about alternative ways to pay, see Google Play's Payments policy.

Is it possible to request an extension for integrating the alternative billing APIs?

We are no longer accepting requests for extensions as the deadline to migrate has passed. Starting on August 2, 2023, developers offering alternative billing to users in South Korea are required to use the alternative billing APIs.

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