Alphabet’s Google is opening up its payment gates to third-party payment systems in South Korea in order to comply with new mandates in the country, according to a Google Developers blog post.
The change, which was requested by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), marks the first time Google has altered its payment policy for a particular country. The KCC asked Google and Apple to submit plans to comply with the new legislation, which prohibits app stores from forcing their payment systems on developers.
“Service fees for distributing apps via Android and Google Play will continue to be based on digital sales on the platform. We recognize, however, that developers will incur costs to support their billing system, so when a user selects alternative billing, we will reduce the developer’s service fee by 4 percent,” Senior Director of Public Policy Wilson White wrote in the blog post.
The majority of developers pay 15% to process payments using Google Play’s billing system but using an alternate gateway, the charge would drop to 11%. Some app categories participating in the Google Media Experience Program that normally pay a 10% service fee would reduce to 6%. Most of South Korea’s new law went into effect in September.
“We respect the decision of the National Assembly, and we are sharing some changes to respond to this new law, including giving developers that sell in-app digital goods and services the option to add an alternative in-app billing system alongside Google Play’s billing system for their users in South Korea,” Google said in a statement, per Reuters.
Apple said it is already in compliance with the new law in South Korea and will not be making any changes to its mobile payment structure, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The legislation in South Korea is the first of its kind to mandate such changes, although similar laws have been considered in the U.S. and Europe, and there are some ongoing legal issues over iOS and Android payments that are still being decided in the courts.