Changes to Google Play's billing system for users in Russia and Belarus

Due to payment system disruption, Google Play has paused its billing system for users in Russia as of March 10, 2022. This means users cannot purchase apps and games, make subscription payments or conduct any in-app purchases of digital goods using Google Play in Russia. Free apps will remain available on the Play Store.

As of August 2, 2022, the provisions of the Payment policy requiring use of Google Play’s billing system do not apply to developers of Play-distributed apps requiring or accepting payments from users in Russia at this time.

As part of our compliance efforts, Google Play is blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid apps in Russia and Belarus.

The situation is rapidly evolving and we encourage you to return to this page for the latest information. Below we have addressed some additional questions developers might have and will continue to keep them updated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can users still download free apps and games from Google Play?

Yes, users in Russia and Belarus will still be able to download free apps and games from the Google Play store.

Can users still access apps and games that have already been downloaded and purchased?

Users can only access paid apps and games that have already been downloaded. Users cannot access previously purchased apps and games which are not currently downloaded on a user's device, regardless of the date of purchase.

What happens when a user transaction fails?

When a user in Russia attempts to buy an app, start an in-app purchase, or subscribe through Google Play’s billing system, an error message will appear and no transaction will be processed.

Users in Belarus will also see an error message when they attempt to buy an app or subscribe through Google Play’s billing system. In-app purchases or subscriptions within free apps are not blocked.

What happens to existing user subscriptions in Russia?

Subscriptions will continue until the end of the then-current billing period, but will not be able to be renewed and will be canceled. We will honor existing developer subscription billing grace periods and any free trials will continue to work until a payment is attempted.

How can I help extend my subscribers' access to content knowing their payment will be declined in Russia?

You have two options. First, you can extend the grace period for existing subscribers to access content after their billing period ends for up to 30 days in Play Console.

Second, you can defer a user’s renewal for as long as one year with the Google Play Developer API. The user will retain full access to the content but will not be charged during the deferral period. The subscription renewal date will be updated to reflect the new date.

My app offers a critical service to users that keeps them safe and provides access to information, what should I do?

If you wish, you can choose to offer your app for free or remove your paid subscription during this pause.

Can I publish new apps or update existing apps during this pause?

You can still publish new free apps and update existing free apps. Updates to paid apps are blocked for compliance reasons. 

How does this impact Play payments policy?

There is no impact on Play's payment policiesoutside of Russia. Please visit our Help Center for more information.

How will this impact the Play Store?

We are disabling Top Paid and Top Grossing charts in Russia during this pause. Top Free charts will still be visible.

Will pausing Google Play billing transactions in Russia impact developer payouts?

No, this pause does not impact developer payments. If you’re having issues receiving payments, we recommend you use an alternate payment method, such as an account from another bank or an eWallet that accepts payments. You can check for alternate payment methods by adding a new payment method to your account. We will hold your account balance until you are able to provide a valid payment method.

Related content

Refer to this Help Center article for information on recently enacted international sanctions.

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