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

As part of our efforts to comply with the recently passed Digital Markets Act (DMA), we are announcing a new program to support billing alternatives for European Economic Area (EEA) users, allowing developers of non-gaming apps selling digital content or services the option of offering their users in the EEA an alternative to Google Play's billing system. Please see our blog post for more information.

Program eligibility

In order to be eligible for this program:

  • Your app may not be a gaming app
  • The Developer must be a registered business

Requirements for offering an alternative billing system

Developers offering an alternative billing system for users in EEA countries will need to meet appropriate user protection requirements.

Starting immediately, alternative billing systems must comply with the following requirements: 

  • Must only be accessible to users in EEA countries.
  • Must only be used within the app.
  • Comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) (if handling credit and debit card data).
  • Developers must also 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.
  • Follow our user experience guidelines to maintain a consistent user experience informing users of the alternative billing system being offered within the app.

For participants in this program, service fees, which support our investments in Play and Android, will continue to apply. Developers must pay Google the applicable service fees. When a consumer uses an alternative billing system, the service fee the developer pays will be reduced by 3%.

Please note that eligibility and requirements are subject to change. Developers will also be required to switch to our automated APIs once they become available. 

Getting started

Developers need to take the following steps to get started:

  1. Review the requirements on this page to determine if your app(s) meets the eligibility criteria. 
  2. Complete the alternative billing system declaration form, accept the Terms of Service.
  3. Identify the apps and countries 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.

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

Open declaration form

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, non-gaming 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 and games distributed to users in the EEA.

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.

Why are game developers ineligible for this program?

We expect to expand billing alternatives to developers of gaming apps for their users  in the EEA, in advance of the DMA effective date.

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?

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.

Developers will also be required to switch to our automated APIs once they become available.

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, in non-gaming apps.

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?

The program requirements now include user experience guidelines which were published on September 29, 2022. In order to give you sufficient time to implement these guidelines, you will have until December 1, 2022 to ensure the alternative billing system UI meets the requirements.

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