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Apple will comply with order to allow third-party payment options in dating apps in the Netherlands

Apple has been facing pressure lately on its App Store payment policy. The company has now agreed to allow dating apps in the Netherlands to include third-party payment options.

After being ordered by the Authority for Consumers and Markets in the Netherlands to exempt dating apps from its strict payment processing policy, Apple has indicated its readiness to comply. This will give this category of apps the chance to use their own choice of payment services providers and avoid handing over 15 to 30 percent of their revenue to Apple.

With this new payment method, apps within the Netherlands and under the dating category will be able to use two new optional entitlements known as StoreKit External Entitlements. They will allow the app to point users to a website to make their payment or introduce an external payment option right in the app.

Apple has, however, made it clear that for any app going this third-party payment processor route, it won’t be involved with refunds, subscriptions, or any other payment issues. This is not unexpected.

There are conditions for developers that want to take advantage of this policy change: they have to create a separate version of their app specifically for the Dutch market. If this appears like an extra hassle, it might set the tone for other countries where Apple might be compelled to offer third-party payment options.

Apart from creating a separate version, dating apps will still be charged for the transactions. Apple has promised more details on how the system will work.

Dating apps that wish to continue using Apple’s payment system do not have to make any changes.

Apple, however, is still fighting this order and has appealed in court. It said in a statement, “Because we do not believe these orders are in our users’ best interests, we have appealed the ACM’s decision to a higher court. We’re concerned these changes could compromise the user experience, and create new threats to user privacy and data security. In the meantime, we are obligated to make the mandated changes which we’re launching today and we will provide further information shortly.”

We brought you the report on how the ACM had investigated Apple’s in-app purchase practices after Match Group, owner of Tinder, Match.com, and OkCupid, filed a complaint. This explains why the concession is limited to only dating apps.

Failure to comply with the ACM’s order to include third-party payment options by January 15th would have attracted a fine of 5 million euros per week, capped at 50 million euros. Apparently, Apple would rather not pay a fine.

In similar news, Apple has agreed to allow apps to include their own payment methods in South Korea. The country’s Korean Communications Commission (KCC) had also carried out an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices, prompted by complaints from app developers. It ended in an order like that of the ACM.

In its home country, the US, Apple has also been ordered to let developers add links to third-party payment options. It came as the outcome of a lawsuit brought by Epic Games, the maker of the popular battle royale game, Fortnite. However, Apple does not have to implement it yet as the judgment has been stayed pending the conclusion of its appeal.

Apple’s 30 percent cut on all transactions, including recurring subscriptions, has always been a sore point in the developer community, but many choose not to speak out for fear of retaliation.

Written by HackerVibes

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