Apps that let you subscribe in order to use certain aspects of their services such as Spotify and Bumble are moving away from the conventional in-app payment system provided by Google.
The music and podcast streaming service Podcast is already in a tussle with Apple over this same move but Google seems to be more accommodating even though the company will still be able to get some cut of those payments under a new User Choice Billing initiative.
This goes as Spotify is trying to create its own in-app payment system rather than rely on Google Pay.
And while Google will surely be getting some cut out of the money, Spotify believes this shows progress toward greater “platform fairness and expanded payment options.”
Recently while renewing my subscription payment and switching cards, I realized I had to enter my whole details rather than the one-click Google Pay I’m accustomed to on my Android-based device.
This further confirms the fact that Spotify is already testing the User Choice Billing system in some select markets.
“Going forward, Android users will soon be able to choose how to pay for their Spotify subscription in the way that best suits them,” Spotify wrote in a newsroom post.
“Google has taken a bold step to help level the playing field, but this is just the beginning.” You can see an example of the User Choice Billing payment flow below in GIF.
Google also gave more insight into what users are to expect as far as the User Choice Billing is concerned in the pilot test.
According to reports, the pilot test is said to have already started in over 35 countries including the United States.
Dating app Bumble is the other company that joined this.
“We’re working with their teams and we anticipate their users will begin seeing this choice in-app in select countries in the coming months,” Google product manager Paul Feng wrote.
As mentioned earlier, Google is still getting some cuts even though payments are now being processed by the first-party app developer (Spotify).
Google’s FAQ on the pilot has it that “when a consumer chooses to use an alternative billing system, the service fee the developer pays will be reduced by 4%.”
Spotify will continue to include the option of Google Play billing. Games currently remain ineligible for the program altogether.