Google have previously allowed apps in PlayStore to link to external sites to buy subscription, but this has recently been reverted and any kind of linking to external buy is no longer permitted. If any links to external buy exists in an app, it will not be allowed to be distributed on PlayStore and if existing apps link to external buy they will be removed from PlayStore.
This goes for all types of links that can redirect to a buy, including:
- Links to webpage
- Links to newsfeed/livenews if you can continue to a buy function
- Links in onboarding screen
Some of our customers have implemented a detection on their website, so users that are linked from the app will not get any buy options shown. This makes it possible to still link to their website.
Alternate Billing System
Google have also implemented an "Alternate Billing System" for users in EEA.
The "Alternate Billing System" isn't a way for to use your existing subscription/billing system, but instead gives the option to make your own, new billing system specific for this Android app, with a lot of requirement and only the benefit of saving 3%.
The 3 main challenges:
- You can't use your current subscription system because this "Alternate Billing System" requires that it's ONLY used in this specific Android app and nowhere else.
- Google still wants a percentage of the payment. They require 3% less than with their standard billing system so this will in most cases be 12%. Google requires monthly payment and report with all transactions.
- Google is creating an API that supports this, but it doesn't exist at the moment. However at any time they can release this API and we will be required to update the app with support for that API.
Googles "Alternate Billing System" in EEA: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/12348241?hl=en