Enrolling in the user choice billing pilot

This pilot is designed to test offering an alternative billing option next to Google Play's billing system and to help us explore offering this choice to users. We are looking to gain feedback in different countries and ensure we can maintain a positive user experience. Please see our blog post for more information.

Starting September 1, 2022, developers who meet the below eligibility and requirements may join the pilot.

Pilot eligibility

In order to be eligible for this pilot:

  • Your app must be a non-gaming mobile or tablet app 
  • Developer must be a registered business

Requirements for offering user choice billing

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

  • Only offer user choice billing to mobile and/or tablet users in announced pilot countries, currently:
    • European Economic Area (EEA) countries
    • Australia
    • Brazil
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Japan
    • South Africa
    • United States
  • 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.
  • Follow our 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 country. Changes will be effective the first of the following month (visit the Frequently asked questions section below for more details on submitting changes).

For participants in this pilot, 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 chooses to use an alternative billing system, the service fee the developer pays will be reduced by 4%.

Please note that eligibility and requirements are subject to change and we expect the pilot details to continue to evolve as we learn more and receive additional feedback. 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 billing declaration form and accept the Terms of Service. 
  3. Identify the apps and countries in which you will be offering user choice 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 pilot.

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

Open declaration form

Frequently asked questions

Why is Google Play's billing system required alongside the alternative billing system for this pilot?

Google Play believes that users should have the choice to use Play’s billing system when they make digital goods purchase from apps installed from 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 and developer features that people count on. Visit this article for more information on the service fee.

Why are game developers ineligible for this program?

At this stage of the pilot only non-gaming apps qualify for user choice billing. We expect the pilot details to continue to evolve as we learn more and receive additional feedback.

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.

For which types of products can I offer user choice billing?

User choice billing can be used for digital content and services, such as in-app purchases and subscriptions, in non-gaming mobile and tablet apps.

Can I offer Google Play’s billing system in some markets, while offering user choice billing in other markets?

Yes. During the enrollment process, you will need to specify the announced pilot countries for which you will offer user choice billing.

Can I participate in the user choice billing pilot and the alternative billing without user choice billing program announced in compliance with the recently passed Digital Markets Act (DMA) for users in the EEA?

Yes. You are able to participate in both, but you will need to identify whether you are offering user choice billing or alternative billing without user choice during the enrollment process. For a given app, you may only select one program at a time per country.

I’ve already enrolled in the EEA program for alternative billing without user choice. Do I need to sign up again 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. You do not need to resubmit the form to continue offering alternative billing without user choice.  

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.

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.

I’ve submitted the app package enrollment form to identify for which countries I will be using user choice billing for my app. How can I notify Google of any changes to my app package enrollment selections?

You are required to submit an updated app package enrollment form if you change the alternative billing offering in a country 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.

Does this program allow links for digital content purchases for 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.

Am I required to offer user choice billing?

No, this is an opt-in pilot. If you do not wish to offer user choice billing, no action is required.

Is alternate billing still available in South Korea?

Yes, although South Korea is not part of this user choice billing pilot, we continue to give 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 you are a developer with users in South Korea, you can learn more about implementing an additional in-app billing system in South Korea in this Help Center article. If you also want to participate in this user choice billing pilot for your users in pilot countries, you will need to enroll in this pilot by completing the billing declaration form.

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 and taking into account feedback from participating developers, we’ve extended the deadline to ensure the alternative billing system user interface meets the requirements from December 1, 2022 to February 15, 2023. 

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