Apple has started allowing the use of third-party payment systems in South Korea’s App Store apps. Developers can now apply to use third-party payment providers when distributing their apps in the App Store.
South Korean Law Mandates the Use of Third-Party Payment Systems
In August 2021, South Korean legislators passed a law that required Apple and Google to allow third-party payment providers in their app store apps. Apple initially appealed the ruling, but later agreed to comply. It also submitted a proposal wherein it will still charge a 26% commission for every transaction made outside of its in-app payment system. Apple normally charges a 30% commission for transactions made through its in-app payment system. Unfortunately for Apple, the South Korean government did not seem satisfied with Apple’s proposal.
Apple Finally Allows Alternative Payment Providers
So now, Apple seemed to have finally agreed to comply with the new South Korean law. According to an update on its developer website, developers can use the StoreKit External Purchase API.
To comply with this law, developers can use StoreKit External Purchase Entitlements. This entitlement allows apps distributed on the App Store solely in South Korea to use a third-party payment system. Developers who want to continue using Apple’s in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.
It appears that Apple implemented the same strategy it used to comply with the Dutch ruling concerning dating apps. Apple created a special entitlement for dating apps that offer alternative payment methods using the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement.
Using Third-Party Payment Providers Have Limitations
Apple also noted that developers who plan to use the entitlement must understand that some App Store features will not be available to users. These include Ask to Buy and Family Sharing features. According to Apple, it cannot validate payments that take place outside of the App Store. Therefore, Apple will not be able to assist developers with refunds, purchase history, subscription management or other issues that may arise. Developers will be responsible for addressing those issues, Apple said.
That being said, it appears that other countries now have two precedents if they want to force Apple to do the same apps distributed in their respective App Stores.