Google follows Apple, enforcing stricter Play Store payment rules in India

google enforcing stricter play store payment rules

Google in a blog post today made it clear about the upcoming stricter policies on Play Store billing as it will come into effect for new app developers from January 20, 2021, and existing apps by September 2021 in India. As per the current scenario, Google charges developers a fixed charge for the publishing of the apps. The payment done via Google’s Payment system which incurs a 30% charge from the developers was optional until now.

But Google is looking to change this, as all the developers will have to provide in-app purchase of their services via Google’s Payment system. The services which will get a 30% cut include digital services like games, dating, music, video, education, cloud services, etc. The services which may not need to share its revenue with Google include real-world non-digital goods like groceries, clothing, makeup, electronics, travel tickets, gym memberships, food delivery, utility bills, etc.

But as Google is forcing its percentage cut on the services offered in an app, most of the startup entrepreneurs are unhappy about it, as it will surely cost them losses. Razorpay's Harshil Mathur tweeted, "India needs a local app store long term else 30% tax will eat up most businesses, is anyone trying to build one?" Most of the Indian Founders have expressed concern, as Android has about 97% market share in the Indian Smartphone market. "30% gatekeeping fees. Startups consumers have very little choice. #DigitalMonopolies,” Digital India Foundation's co-founder and head Arvind Gupta tweeted.

However, Google tried to justify its policy by publishing a blog saying, "To be clear, this policy is only applicable to less than 3% of developers with apps on Google Play. We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair."