Learn about Google Play and alternative billing systems

Developers can now offer alternatives to Google Play’s billing system to their users that pay for digital content and services in the following countries:

  • European Economic Area (EEA) countries
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • United States

Google Play’s billing system

Google Play's billing system allows you to safely and securely purchase digital products and in-app content, including subscriptions. Your payment information is securely stored in your Google Account and will not be shared with app developers. To prevent accidental purchases, you can require authentication any time that you make a purchase.

When you use Google Play’s billing system, you can also set a monthly budget, check your payment history, manage your subscriptions and set and manage parental controls through the subscription centre. You can set up a family group and, if you're a parent in the group, you can set up a family form of payment for members to use and require your permission for purchasing or downloading content on Google Play. If you experience an issue with a purchase on Google Play, you can also request a refund through Google Play.

Google Play's billing system makes it easy to pay, with a range of payment methods globally. Depending on your country, payment methods may include local mobile phone billing, eWallets, cash and Play gift cards. You can also earn Play Points with your purchases. Learn more about available forms of payment.

Learn more about how Google Play’s billing system works.

Alternative billing systems for users

Depending on your country and the developer’s election to participate, developers may offer you a choice of billing systems for each purchase. Your choice will determine:

  • Who secures your purchase, processes your payment and stores any payment information
  • Who provides customer support for the purchase
  • Which benefits are available with your purchase
  • In EEA countries, who is responsible for applicable consumer rights

We believe that this choice will help you make an informed decision when you make purchases within the Play ecosystem.

Tip: For users in EEA countries, an alternative billing system may be offered to you without the choice of Google Play’s billing system.

Users in Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, South Korea and United States have a choice of billing systems for each purchase
Depending on the product, developers selling digital content in their app may offer you a choice of an alternative billing system in addition to Google Play’s billing system. When you use a different billing system to make your purchase, your purchase won’t be managed by Google Play. Learn how to check where charges on your billing statement come from.
Users in EEA countries
Developers of non-gaming apps selling digital content and services in their app may offer you an alternative billing system instead of, or in addition to, Google Play’s billing system. When you use a different billing system to make your purchase, you won’t be transacting with Google, your purchase won’t be managed by Google Play and you can’t use your Play balance or Play gift cards (if available in your country) to pay. Other Play features such as purchase controls, Play offers and subscription management in Play’s subscription centre will not apply to these purchases. If you choose a different billing system, the provider of that billing system is the seller for any transaction and will be solely responsible for the provision and support of your purchase (including consumer rights, like statutory guarantees under applicable laws). Learn how to check where charges on your billing statement come from.

Tips:

  • Google doesn't secure any payment information that you share with a developer or an alternative billing service provider, such as your billing address and payment method details.
  • When you choose Google Play at checkout, the features available are:
    • Play gift cards or Play Points
      • This feature is only available in selected countries.
    • Purchase controls
    • Play subscription management
  • To find out how alternative billing systems provide billing features and benefits, contact your developer.

Alternative billing for children

A child can buy digital content in apps, and they can use either Google Play or a different way to pay, offered by the developer. Purchase approvals in Play won’t apply if a child uses the billing system from the developer.

The first time that a child tries to make an in-app purchase on an app that offers a different way to pay, their parent or guardian will be required to sign in before the purchase is made to review a message. This message will talk about the other ways that their child can pay for in-app digital content. The next time a child tries to make an in-app purchase in this same app, the child’s parent or guardian will not be asked to sign in to view this message, and the child will be able to proceed without parent involvement.

If a child uses a different way to pay for the in-app content other than Google Play, then the developer:

  • Secures the purchase, processes the payment and keeps payment information.
  • Helps with any questions or issues.
  • Provides any other help with buying.

Google secures purchases made with Google Play. If your child is eligible for Play features such as Play gift cards, Play Points and subscription management, those will be available only when purchases are made with Google Play.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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.
What happens if I need a refund for a purchase made through an alternative billing system?
You cannot request a refund through Google for purchases made through other billing systems. We recommend contacting the developer for a refund.
How will I know if I am making a purchase through Google Play’s billing system or an alternative billing system?

When an application offers other billing systems, you can choose between Google Play’s billing system or alternative billing system.

If you reside in one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries:

  • An application can only offer a single alternative billing option.
  • You can’t use your Play balance or Play gift cards to pay with alternative billing systems.
  • These Play features don’t apply to alternative billing systems:
    • Purchase controls
    • Play offers
    • Play subscription management
How can I check if a transaction was made through Google Play’s billing system or an alternative billing system?

You can confirm how a transaction was made in your Google Play order history or on your billing statement. If your purchase does not show up under your Google Play order history, it was likely made using another billing system. See how to review your order history on Google Play or check if charges are from Google Play or another provider on your billing statement.


Tip: Make sure that you sign in to your Google Account that was used to make the purchase. Learn how to add an account or switch accounts.
How can I manage app subscriptions with alternative billing systems? Will they show up on the Play subscriptions centre?

App subscriptions made through alternative billing systems don’t appear in your Play subscriptions centre or on play.google.com. To manage and cancel subscriptions that you made through alternative billing systems, contact your developer.

Tip: App uninstallation doesn’t cancel your subscription, regardless of whether you subscribed through Google Play’s billing system or an alternative billing system.

Who should I contact for support with payment issues on alternative billing systems?
Please get in touch with the developer for all payment issues (including failed payments, issues with adding credit cards, etc.) with alternative billing systems.
How will this impact any active subscriptions that I currently have with apps that offer alternative billing systems?
Active subscriptions will continue to be on Google Play’s billing system unless you cancel. Please note that uninstalling the app will not cancel your subscription. You can continue managing active subscriptions via the Play subscription centre or play.google.com. Learn more about managing subscriptions on Google Play.
Can I change my billing for an active subscription from Google Play’s billing system to an alternative billing system?
To change your billing for an active subscription, you will need to cancel your current subscription and resubscribe. Please note that cancelling your subscription may affect your existing pricing and promotions.
Will my authentication and parental control settings apply to purchases made through alternative billing systems?

No. Authentication and purchase control settings offered by Google only apply to purchases made through Google Play’s billing system. Review how to set up and manage parental controls on Google Play or manage your authentication settings for purchases through Google Play’s billing system.

For children with a Google Account managed with Family Link, will parental approval still be required for downloading apps that offer alternative billing systems?
Yes, parental approval via Family Link is still supported for downloads of apps with alternative billing systems. However, parental control and authentication settings for purchases are only supported for purchases made through Google Play’s billing system. Review how to:
I’ve signed up for Google Play Points. Will I earn Google Play Points for purchases made through alternative billing systems?
No, you can’t earn Google Play Points for purchases made through alternative billing systems.
Can I use my Play balance and Play gift cards to make purchases through alternative billing systems?
No, you can’t use your Play balance to make purchases through alternative billing systems.
Can I redeem Play offers for purchases made through alternative billing systems?
No. Play offers can only be redeemed for purchases made through Google Play’s billing system.

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