Apple today provided some additional details about how it will allow dating apps in the Netherlands to offer alternative payment systems, in compliance with a legal decision (that Apple is simultaneously appealing).
The biggest tidbit from this is the reveal of the ‘reduced’ commission structure. Apple typically charges 30% commission on purchases made using its In-App Purchase system. The commission levied on alternative payment systems has been set at … 27%, net of tax.
Dating apps in the Netherlands can choose to offer alternative payment systems by linking out to a website, or using a native in-app flow. Apps wanting to take advantage of this functionality must include special entitlements in their app binary and call an Apple API before redirecting the user, that presents a modal sheet that tells a customer they are being directed to a non-Apple payments service.
On the face of it, a 27% commission does not exactly seem like a compelling option — when Apple’s own In-App Purchase system is easy to use and deeply integrated into the system. Apple says that the 27% cut is based on the price paid by the user, net of value-added tax. It says “this is a reduced rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities”.
Each month, developers will have to send a report to Apple that lists their sales. Apple will then send out invoices for its commission, that must be paid within 45 days.
Some parts of the guidance appear in-progress or incomplete, probably as Apple looks to comply with the Netherlands ruling as soon as possible in order to avoid being hit with another 5m euro fine.
Currently, participating developers are expected to implement their own modal sheet that looks like the example mockup above, with English and Dutch translations. However, in the future, Apple says it will provide a framework API that will present the sheet a system level. As this API is not currently available, developers must agree that they will adopt it as soon as it is introduced. There are also other places in the document where Apple reserves the right to change requirements as its policies and technology evolves.
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