Offering an alternative billing system for users in the European Economic Area (EEA)

Starting on March 13, 2024, developers offering alternative billing for users in the EEA must use the alternative billing APIs. See details below and visit our alternative billing API integration guide to get started.

As part of our efforts to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), we allow developers selling digital content or services the option of offering their users in the European Economic Area (EEA) an alternative to Google Play's billing system. Service fees, which support our investments in Play and Android, will continue to apply, and developers must pay Google the applicable service fees. For more information, see our blog post.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this program:

  • Your app must be an app or game across any form factor offering alternative billing to users in the EEA.
  • Developer must be a registered business.

Requirements

Developers participating in this program must comply with the following requirements:

  • Must be a registered business.
  • Only offer the alternative billing system to users in EEA countries.
  • Meet appropriate user protection requirements.
  • Only offer alternative billing systems within the app.
  • Comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) (if handling credit and debit card data).
  • Provide customer support for users of the alternative billing system (including any products sold using the alternative billing system), and the alternative billing system must provide a process to dispute unauthorized transactions.
  • Pay Google the applicable service fees. When a consumer purchases through an alternative billing system without user choice, the standard service fee the developer pays will be reduced by 3%.
  • Integrate the alternative billing APIs, which streamline implementing user experience requirements and reporting. Developers not yet ready to integrate the alternative billing APIs have the option to manually implement the information screen and report transactions until March 13, 2024.
  • Prior to integrating with the alternative billing APIs, developers are required to follow our interim user experience guidelines to maintain a consistent user experience and help users make an informed decision.
  • Notify us in advance of intended changes to your app enrollment preferences, such as disabling or enabling user choice billing in a particular app or market. For more details on how to submit changes, visit our FAQ.

Please note that eligibility and requirements are subject to change.

Integrating with alternative billing APIs

If you would like to offer alternative billing and will be using the alternative billing APIs from the date of your offering, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Review the requirements on this page to determine if your app(s) meets the eligibility criteria.
  2. 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).
  3. Complete the integration of the alternative billing APIs as described in this API integration guide.
  4. Manage your Play Console alternative billing settings to opt in/out each of your apps, upload payment method logos, and subscription management URLs.
  5. Report to Google Play all authorized transactions from users in the EEA within 24 hours using alternative billing APIs.
  6. For any active subscriptions that started while you were offering alternative billing without automation, you will be required to migrate these subscriptions through the ExternalTransactions API prior to reporting the recurring transactions through the API. This one-time migration must be done prior to the March 13, 2024, alternative billing API migration deadline. For more details, visit our FAQ.

If you are already participating in the program and are migrating over to the alternative billing APIs, you can skip the steps 1 and 2 above. Once you complete the steps outlined above and start reporting transactions using the API, you no longer need to send transactions manually.

Integrating without automation

If you would like to offer alternative billing but are not yet ready to integrate with the alternative billing APIs, you must complete the following steps for manual enrollment:

  1. Review the requirements on this page to determine if your app(s) meets the eligibility criteria.
  2. 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).
  3. Identify the apps and eligible markets in which you will be offering alternative billing using the enrollment form that will be emailed to you after you complete the billing declaration form.
  4. Follow the requirements as described on this page.
  5. Account for and report to Google Play the amount of all paid transactions from the alternative billing system for invoicing. Instructions for monthly reporting will be provided to developers who complete the declaration form and complete their onboarding for the program.
  6. Before the migration deadline, integrate with alternative billing APIs, migrate any active subscriptions that started while you were offering alternative billing without automation and update your alternative billing settings in Play Console. Once you migrate active subscriptions and start reporting transactions using the APIs, you no longer need to send transactions manually. This one-time migration must be done prior to the March 13, 2024, alternative billing API migration deadline. For more details, visit our FAQ.

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

Frequently asked questions

Which countries make up the European Economic Area (EEA)?
Currently the EEA includes: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
My app has been recently rejected for not being compliant with Google Play’s Payments policies. What should I do?

Google will not remove or reject, or reject updates of apps from participating developers for offering an alternative billing system for users in the EEA. Google Play’s billing system will continue to be required for apps and games distributed via Play to users outside of the EEA except where eligible for alternative billing.

If your app meets the program eligibility and other requirements, you should complete the declaration form and submit your app update. Note it may take some time for us to process your application. If you do not qualify for the program, you will need to update your app to be in compliance with Google Play’s Payments policies and resubmit.

I am currently offering Google Play’s billing system. Can I now offer both Google Play’s billing system alongside an alternative billing system to users in the EEA?

If you wish to offer an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system, enroll in the user choice billing pilot to offer users a choice. Learn more and sign up for the user choice billing pilot here.

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

Starting November 14, 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 March 13, 2024, you can continue to manually self-report the transactions if you have not yet integrated with the alternative billing APIs. If reporting manually, 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 October 2023 will be due November 7, 2023. Once you complete the declaration form, we will review your information and send you instructions on how to report your paid transactions and what payments you are required to remit for service fees and any applicable taxes.

For which types of products can I offer EEA users an alternative billing system?

Alternative billing systems can be used for digital content and services, such as in-app purchases and subscriptions.

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 and developer features that people count on. Visit this article for more information on the service fee.

Does this program allow links for digital content purchases for EEA users?

Yes, this program allows developers to use web-based payments as an alternative payment method in an embedded webview within their app. Like other alternative payment methods, these would be subject to the requirements for the program listed on this page, including all user trust and safety requirements, as well as the service fee.

Is this a required program?

No, this is an opt-in program. If you do not wish to offer EEA users an alternative to Google Play’s billing system, no action is required.

I’ve already enrolled in this EEA program for alternative billing without user choice. Can I also sign up to participate in the user choice billing pilot?

If you signed up for the EEA program before September 1, 2022, and wish to offer users the choice of an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system, you will need to resubmit the declaration form in order to enroll in the user choice billing pilot.

If you signed up for the EEA program after September 1, 2022, you do not need to resubmit the declaration form to participate in the user choice billing pilot. However, you will need to notify us by submitting an updated app package enrollment form whether you are offering user choice billing for each country in the EEA.

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

If you are offering alternative billing with automation, the user experience requirements will be met by integrating with and using the client-side APIs. Starting March 14, 2023, all participating developers will be required to integrate alternative billing APIs to render the information screen and to report transactions.

If you are not yet ready to integrate the alternative billing APIs, you are required to manually implement the interim user experience guidelines.

I’ve submitted the app package enrollment form to identify which markets I will be using alternative billing without user choice for my app. How can I notify Google of any changes to my app package enrollment selections?

If you are offering alternative billing without automation, you are required to submit an updated app package enrollment form if you change the alternative billing offering in a market for a given app package. Please note that any updates will only be effective the first of the following month in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), including changes to applicable service fees.

If you are offering alternative billing using alternative billing APIs, you can change the alternative billing offering in a market for a given app package through your Play Console alternative billing settings. Any updates will be effective immediately, including changes to applicable service fees.

I’ve already enrolled in the pilot for my non-gaming apps, do I need to sign up again for my gaming app to participate in the user choice billing pilot?

No. If you are currently active in the pilot program, you can enroll your gaming app in the program through Play Console and begin offering alternative billing to EEA users. Follow the app enrollment instructions in this Help Center article.

How do I integrate with the alternative billing APIs for form factors beyond mobile and tablet when offering user choice billing to users in the EEA?

The alternative billing APIs can be implemented the same way across all eligible form factors. You can leverage the same integration guide for detailed guidelines and resources on how to get started.

If you plan to offer user choice billing on Android Auto, please contact us for more information on how to get started.

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 screen 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:

  • 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 mostly 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, please contact us here.

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

Before the migration deadline, March 13, 2024, complete the steps outlined in Integrating with Alternative Billing APIs. Once you migrate any active subscriptions from the manual period and start reporting transactions using the APIs, you no longer need to send transactions manually.

How do I report recurring transactions through alternative billing APIs for active subscriptions that started when I was offering alternative billing without automation?

For any active subscriptions that started while you were offering alternative billing without automated reporting, you will be required to migrate these subscriptions through the ExternalTransactions API prior to reporting the recurring transactions through the API. This one-time migration must be done prior to the March 13, 2024, alternative billing API migration deadline. Once migrated, you only need to report the recurring transactions through the APIs and no longer need to report via manual reporting.

If you have not yet migrated the active subscription, you are still required to continue reporting the recurring transaction through the existing manual reporting instructions.

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