Apple has announced that it will allow dating apps from the Dutch App Store to use third-party payment systems. The move comes as Apple attempts to comply with orders from the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).
The ACM acted after an investigation that began in 2019 when Match Group – the owner of Tinder – complained about Apple’s App Store rules. And while Apple is appealing the ACM’s decision to impose third-party payments, it still has to comply. At least for now.
Developers will be able to continue using Apple’s own payment system, use a third-party one, and/or link people to a third-party system instead.
To comply with the orders of the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), Apple will allow developers of dating apps from the Dutch App Store to choose one of the following options: 1) continue to use the system Apple’s in-app purchase, 2) include an in-app link directing customers to the developer’s website to make a purchase, or 3) use a third-party payment system within the app.
Apple, as you can imagine, thinks this will lead to a worse experience for customers and is keen to make sure developers are aware of this. Apple wants developers to consider the impact of their actions before using the two new rights that will make payment options possible.
Recent orders from the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will allow developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to share additional payment processing options with users. Because we do not believe these orders are in the best interests of our users, we have appealed the ACM’s decision to a higher court. We are concerned that these changes will compromise user experience and create new threats to user privacy and data security. In the meantime, we’re forced to make the mandatory changes we’re launching today and we’ll provide you with more information shortly.
Apple also outlined what developers will give up if they abandon the App Store payment system, including that any liability for any payment issues will rest entirely with the developer and not Apple.
It will be your responsibility to assist your users with any questions or issues related to alternative payment options. Since Apple will not be directly aware of purchases made using alternate methods, Apple will not be able to assist users with refunds, payment history, subscription management, and other issues encountered when purchasing digital goods and services through these alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for addressing these issues with customers.
It remains to be seen how many developers in this specific category of a specific App Store will use these changes, but it will be very interesting to see how things play out. The eyes of the world will watch. Several authorities around the world are also concerned about Apple’s App Store payment system and the company’s refusal to do exactly what it just did in the Netherlands. Will this be the apocalypse that Apple warns of?
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