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

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

In response to recent regulatory developments in India, we are now offering all developers the ability to offer an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s for their mobile and tablet users in India. 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 do not plan to provide an alternative billing system, no action is required if your app already uses Google Play's billing system.

Integrating an alternative billing system

In order to maintain a safe and consistent user experience, developers will need to satisfy several requirements. Developers can now integrate the alternative billing APIs, which streamline implementing user experience requirements and reporting—learn more about the additional benefits of the APIs here.

Developers not yet ready to integrate the alternative billing APIs have the option to manually implement the user choice screen and report transactions until March 13, 2024.

Integrating with alternative billing APIs

If you would like to offer users in India a choice of alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s and will be using the alternative billing APIs from the date of your offering, you must complete the following steps:

  1. 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).
  2. Follow trust and safety requirements by certifying PCI DSS compliance and giving users a way to report fraudulent transactions.
  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 India 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.
  7. Pay an adjusted Google Play service fee for invoiced transactions that use an alternative billing system outside of Google Play’s billing system.

If you are already participating in the program and are migrating over to the alternative billing APIs, you can skip the step 1 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 users in India a choice of an alternative billing system alongside Google Play's but are not yet ready to integrate with the alternative billing APIs, you must complete the following steps for manual enrollment:

  1. 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).
  2. Identify the apps for which you will be offering user choice billing using the enrollment form that will be emailed to you after you complete the declaration form.
  3. Follow trust and safety requirements by certifying PCI DSS compliance and giving users a way to report fraudulent transactions.
  4. 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.
  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. Pay an adjusted Google Play service fee for transactions that use an alternative billing system outside of Google Play’s billing system.
  7. 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.

What's next

Once you complete the alternative 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.

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?

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 Google Play, and all of the developer services we offer, including app distribution and discovery, the commerce platform, developer tools, analytics, training, and more. Visit this article for more information on the service fee.

For which types of products can I offer Indian users the choice of an alternative billing system?

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

What is the service fee for digital transactions using an alternative billing system?

Developers must pay Google the applicable service fees. When a consumer chooses to use an alternative billing system, the standard service fee the developer pays will be 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 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.

How is the service fee calculated and invoiced for transactions made through an alternative billing system?

The service fee is calculated based on the paid transactions from mobile and tablet users in India. You will receive an invoice with a due date and payment instructions.

Am I required to show the same prices on an alternate 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 user choice billing, or have already done so, by when do I need to meet the user experience requirements outlined on this page?

If you are offering user choice billing with alternative billing APIs integration, 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 with alternative billing APIs to render the user choice screen and to report transactions.

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 or offer alternative billing using alternative billing APIs to ensure users understand the choice provided, and have a consistent user experience.

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.

My app is enrolled in the user choice billing pilot for Indian users. Do I need to sign up again to participate in the India program for alternative billing?

If your app was enrolled in the user choice billing pilot for Indian users before February 22, 2023, you do not need to enroll again through the India program for alternative billing. However, 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.

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?

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.

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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