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

As a result of recent legislation, we are now offering all developers the ability to offer an alternative in-app billing system alongside Google Play’s 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%. Read this blog post and the updated Payments policy for more information.

If you don’t want to offer an alternative in-app payment system, you do not need to take any action.

Integrating an in-app billing system

In order to maintain a safe and consistent user experience, developers will need to satisfy several requirements. Developers looking to add an alternative billing system in the short term will need to take a set of interim steps while we build APIs that will streamline integration in 2023.

If you would like to offer users in South Korea a choice of another in-app payment system in addition to Google Play's, you must complete these interim steps:

  1. Inform Google by completing the additional in-app billing system declaration form.
  2. Follow trust and safety requirements by certifying PCI DSS compliance and giving users a way to report fraudulent transactions.
  3. Follow our interim user experience requirements to ensure the choice of billing systems is presented in a consistent way and ensures that users understand the choice they are making.
  4. Manually report to Google Play the amount of all paid transactions from users in South Korea on a monthly basis until our APIs become available. We will email you instructions after you inform us of your intent. 
  5. Pay an adjusted Google Play service fee for invoiced transactions that use an alternative in-app billing system outside of Google Play’s billing system.

Once you complete the additional in-app billing system declaration form, please refer to the instructions that will be emailed to you. These outline what information you are required to report to Google and what payments you are required to remit for service fees and taxes. 

Alternatively, developers can wait to implement our APIs when they become available in 2023, which will make it easier to implement and maintain user choice screens, invoicing and reporting. Developers that choose to implement before the APIs are available will be required to switch to our automated APIs once they become available in 2023.

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

Open declaration form

Frequently asked questions

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

South Korean consumers value the safety and features of Google Play’s billing ecosystem and we believe it’s critical to continue to offer them the choice to use Google Play's billing system if they desire.

Alternative billing systems 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.

In fact, this year alone, more than 1.5 million users in South Korea have used Google Play gift cards. And more than 12 million users in South Korea have enrolled in Play Points, collectively accruing over 20 billion points in their accounts, which they are unable to use on alternative billing systems.

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 another in-app billing system?

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

What is the service fee for digital transactions using another in-app billing system?

For users who select an alternative in-app 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 do I submit transactions made through another in-app billing system?

Once you complete the additional in-app billing system declaration form, we will review your information and send you detailed instructions on how to submit the amount of your paid transactions.

How is the service fee calculated and invoiced for transactions made through another in-app 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.

When do transactions made through another in-app billing system need to be reported?

In the short term, developers will need to manually 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. In 2023, APIs will be available to more seamlessly handle and report transactions made using other billing systems.

Am I required to show the same prices on an alternate in-app billing system as on Google Play’s billing system?

 No, developers can have different prices on each billing system if they choose.

If I am planning to offer an alternative in-app billing system, or have already done so, when do I need to meet the requirements outlined on this page?

This updated Payments policy will take effect on December 18, 2021. In other words, if you want to offer an alternative in-app billing system for users in South Korea on or after December 18, 2021, you should comply with all the requirements in the Payments policy from the date of your offering. However, to give developers sufficient time to implement the interim user experience guidelines, they will have until January 18, 2022 to ensure the alternative billing system UI meets the outlined requirements here

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 linkout 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 in-app 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.

Please see our Help Center article for more information about communicating with your Korean users about alternative ways to pay.

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