Google could finally let Play Store users break out of its billing system

Google Play Store Add A Payment Method


Joe Hindy / Android Authority

TL;DR

Google just took a step that could give Android users more choice in how they pay for things in the Google Play Store and within apps. The company has partnered with Spotify to introduce user-choice billing in a unique partnership. Google is also working with other developers to test third-party billing on the Play Store, allowing users to bypass its own billing system.

Google and Spotify have announced a unique partnership that will give Android users the choice to pay for the music streaming service using a payment method other than Google Play Billing.

Users who have downloaded Spotify from the Google Play Store will soon have the option to pay using Google’s billing system or Spotify’s payment method.

This is the first time Google has allowed a third-party payment method for in-app purchases, marking a drastic shift in the way it has done business for years. The company currently checks payments on the Play Store to get a commission, usually between 15% and 30%.

It’s also good news for Android users, as the partnership with Spotify could foreshadow much wider availability of third-party billing in the Play Store. In fact, Google said the same thing in a blog post to developers.

Google’s new pilot program to test user-choice billing allows a small number of participating apps to offer an additional billing option in addition to Google Play billing. Spotify is Google’s first partner in this endeavor.

“This is a major milestone and the first in any major app store — be it on mobile, desktop or game consoles,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management at Google, in the blog post.

Meanwhile, Spotify said in a press release announcing the partnership that it is working with Google’s engineering team to roll out the new billing experience in countries around the world.

We sent Spotify an email asking which countries will get the option first and if Google still gets some of the purchases through the third-party payment system.

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