Earlier this year, Apple announced that it would comply with a new law in South Korea that requires the company to allow third-party payment providers in App Store apps. Starting today, developers can finally apply to use other payment methods besides Apple in their apps distributed on the App Store in South Korea.
In August 2021, the South Korean regulator passed an antitrust law to force both Apple and Google to allow developers to use third-party payment methods in their apps distributed through the App Store and Google Play. Unsurprisingly, Apple appealed the decision, but the company agreed to comply with the law.
However, the South Korean regulator was not yet satisfied with Apple’s proposal because the company would still charge a 26% commission on transactions made outside of the App Store’s in-app purchase system. However, it looks like Apple will keep things that way.
Third Party Payment Service Providers in South Korea
Apple Thursday provided more details about how it will allow developers to offer third-party payment providers in their apps distributed in South Korea.
Similar to what happened in the Netherlands, where Apple created a special entitlement for dating apps that offer alternative payment methods, developers who want to offer an alternative payment processing option in South Korea must use the StoreKit offshore purchase right.
Developers can continue to use Apple’s in-app purchase system if they wish, but apps with alternative payment methods need a new version exclusively for the App Store in South Korea. Apple also notes that some features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing will not be available for these apps. The Company will also not be responsible for any subscription or refund management.
For every sale made using an alternative payment method, developers still have to pay a commission to Apple – however, there will be a 4% discount. Applications must make it clear that the user will pay through an alternative system that Apple does not support.
There are currently four Apple-qualified South Korean payment providers: KCP, Inicis, Toss, and NICE. If a developer wants to use a different payment provider, it must be verified by Apple first. Those who wish to submit an application to the App Store in South Korea using an alternative payment method must fill out an application form on the Apple Developer website.
What’s next for the App Store?
Since Epic Games sued Apple to remove Fortnite from the App Store, the company has been under huge pressure around the world when it comes to App Store restrictions.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a permanent injunction last year saying that Apple no longer prevents developers from directing users to third-party payment options. Apple appealed for a delay in implementing the changes, but the appeal was denied.
Some antitrust bills also aim to pass legislation that would force Apple to allow apps to be loaded on iOS, as well as abolish mandatory use of WebKit. Apple is clearly not happy with this, and the company has yet to show any signs that it will reconsider the App Store guidelines.
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