Apple App Store

iPhone to support third-party payment systems in US but at a cost

Developers have to apply to get permission to include links in their apps

Apple has updated its developer guidelines, allowing developers in the United States to link out to the web to inform users about other ways to subscribe to a service without using in-app purchases.

This followed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear appeals from both Apple and Epic Games.

However, the policy has been met with fierce criticism from developers and industry experts, who accuse Apple of acting in bad faith and undermining the court’s ruling.

Even if developers use a link to direct users to other options for digital purchases, they will have to pay a 27% cut to Apple.

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For developers who are part of Apple’s Small Business Program or who are auto-renewing subscriptions for a second year, the fee is reduced to 12% instead of 15%.

Essentially, Apple is giving developers a discount of three percentage points to use alternative payment methods. This might not be enough in some cases, as developers will still have to pay fees to another payment processor.

Developers have to apply to get permission to include links in their apps. Plus, the developer will need to submit transaction reports within 15 days of a calendar month’s ending.

Apple also detailed interface guidelines for developers to follow, including the text to indicate that users might not be able to use features like subscription management if they use a third-party payment option.