Apple offers alternative payment options in the Netherlands at the request of regulators
This week, based on an amendment to South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act, Apple is offering developers an alternative payment option in South Korea without the need to use Apple’s in-app purchase system. After using alternative payment, Apple will still take a certain percentage of the share but it will be much lower than 15% or 30%, which is actually beneficial to increase real income for developers. Providing Korean developers with alternative payments rather than forcing the use of in-app purchase payments is because South Korea has directly passed legislation to force Apple to do so rather than voluntarily. Now Netherlands regulators have made similar requirements, but only on dating apps rather than all apps, and Apple will face hefty fines for failing to comply with regulatory requirements.
Earlier, the Netherlands Consumer and Markets Authority ruled that Apple should provide all dating app developers with alternative payment options in the Dutch market. These Dutch developers do not have to use Apple’s in-app purchase payment system (IAP), nor do they need to pay Apple a 15% to 30% commission if they use alternative payment options. Apple said on its website that although the company disagreed with the Dutch regulator’s ruling, it still complied with the request and filed a complaint with a higher court in the Netherlands.
Apple said in the notice that if developers are willing to continue to use Apple’s in-app purchase system, no changes need to be made, and users can continue to pay through Apple. If a developer wishes to use an alternative payment system, Apple will provide additional payment processing options, all of which Apple will not limit at the developer’s discretion. Apple said the company could not verify the safety and reliability of other payments, and that Apple would not be able to assist users with refunds and manage subscriptions using alternative payments. If the developer ultimately decides to use an alternative payment system, it must be responsible for handling customer service issues with its partners, including but not limited to refunds or other issues.