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Google To Devs: Use Our Payment System Or Be Dropped 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the company-store dept.
Meshach writes "Google has been pressuring applications and mobile game developers to use its costlier in-house payment service, Google Wallet for quite some time. Now Google warned several developers in recent months that if they continued to use other payment methods — such as PayPal, Zong and Boku — their apps would be removed from Google Play. The move is seen as a way to cut costs for Google by using their own system."
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Google To Devs: Use Our Payment System Or Be Dropped

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  • While you're free to make an app with any payment system you want, using anything but Google's own results in you being cut off from nearly all of the Android audience.

    If there's a clear example of "force by practicality", here is one front and center.

    • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:13AM (#39298759)

      False. You're cut off from no-one.

      I have yet to see an Android phone (in my country anyway) which doesn't feature a simple checkbox that allows you to install apps that didn't come from the market.
      I have seen several Android phones out of the box which feature more than one market installed on the system (though admittedly they somewhat suck).
      I have seen several alternative markets (Amazon included here) which are incredibly capable as almost a complete replacement of the Google Market, or Play or whatever they've changed it to.

      Admittedly practicality here may be the key argument, but hey you are going to a 3rd party to host, advertise, collect feedback, and manage updates for your apps it's not such a hard rule to abide by.

      Also as someone who vehemently hates PayPal, anything that works against it gets the thumbs up from me :-)

      • by jvkjvk (102057)

        False. You're cut off from no-one.

        False, you are cut off from a lot of people.

        I have yet to see an Android phone (in my country anyway) which doesn't feature a simple checkbox that allows you to install apps that didn't come from the market.

        What percentage of owners have this checked by default in their version of Android?
        What percentage of owners won't change it?

        That's one group you are cut off from. I suspect it's a quite large group. And you can't do anything about it.

        Next, unless you submit to every other market place that someone might want to search for your app and submit it, you are cut off from people who use those secondary markets.

        While this one you may be able to do "something" about it

  • by sixtyeight (844265) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:07AM (#39298453)

    For all the good that Google is supposedly trying to do, this begs a question I've been wondering for quite a while.

    Why don't they implement a Payment API for developers? People could then use all sorts of services, from PayPal to BitCoin to pay to Google, and be paid by them. Google doesn't implement all the extant services out there because if it implemented a few of them, it would be considered responsible for implementing all of them. But it would make sense to enable developers to do so, and customers to use them.

    Or so it seemed. They appear to be more interested in restricting payment types in order to increase their margins. If this is so, it will diminish their user-base as this sort of thing comes out. Granted, they've found innovative economies of scale that have allowed them to do things it would be difficult for others to do as cheaply - which appears to be something they're now leveraging to put unfair leverage on the marketplace. A lack of effective competition becomes a monopolization.

    • by emurphy42 (631808)
      According to TFA, it's because "how do you want to pay for this?" is one more opportunity for the user to stop and think "meh, I don't, really". (But this could be mitigated by letting you set up a default method.)
      • Yeah, it's such an odd mentality: Refuse to make it easy for people to pay, in an effort to make their services an impulse aisle.

        Do the majority of people really think like this? Money just flies out of their pockets because they habitually purchase things they don't actually want? I can get how that would disturb companies like Google, or site owners for that matter, but only if they fear that what they have isn't really of value. Seems to be costing them sales.

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          Of course there's always someone buying it right on the margin of considering it worth it and not worth it. Since they've already chosen to buy it giving them a reason to reconsider means they might change their mind.

          it also adds to the effort involved in buying it, which might tip the balance to not worth it.

      • bull.. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gl4ss (559668) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:34AM (#39298567) Homepage Journal

        It's just about getting a cut of the sales.
        That's the ONLY thing this is about.

        it can be wrapped in 7 layers of bullshit, but that's still what this is about in the end.

        sure, it's an attack on paypal, on facebook credits etc. but that's only means to an end which is getting a cut of your purchases.

        I'm pretty sure they won't extend this to banking apps though!

  • As much as it'd be good to have the choice, I've had nothing but trouble using non-Google methods. Paypal's been an absolute bust getting an in app purchase working, 4 purchases, not worked once. At least it's tied together and easier (now) to get refunds from Google if there are problems.

  • The lack of editorializing has left me confused on how I'm supposed to feel about this story. If only Timothy had posted this story, with some kind of snarky one-liner that clearly told me whether this was a good thing or bad thing!

    Seriously, I've written a few posts critical of Google in the past year, as my own patience with them has waned. I've even been called an anti-Google shill. But I can not understand why I'm supposed to care about the minutiae of the inner workings of the behind-the-scenes oper

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stephanruby (542433)

      If only Timothy had posted this story, with some kind of snarky one-liner that clearly told me whether this was a good thing or bad thing!

      Forget about Tim, I'll do it.

      It's official. Google is evil now (they're not even going to try to hide it anymore).

      It's part of their new branding strategy.

      • It's part of their new branding strategy.

        I always spin off evil operations as a subsidiary, so the masses will still think I'm the good guy.

        Usually an overseas subsidiary, so I can get evil on the cheap.

    • But I can not understand why I'm supposed to care about the minutiae of the inner workings of the behind-the-scenes operations of Google Wallet / Google Play.

      You're supposed to care because Google wants Google Wallet to become your wallet.

  • If an app wants to lose out on "conversion" they should be allowed to. I'm a die hard google supporter but this is just lame. Google's forcing devs to pay higher rates and trying to pawn it off as being for the developers own good instead of google's own wallet. I don't want to start hating google as they've done lots of good but this is dancing with evil.
  • by inflex (123318) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:25AM (#39298531) Homepage Journal

    I would have loved to have jumped on board with Googles payment system in place of PayPal... but there was a slight problem... it was "US Only". It would seem that if I look at the dominant players in various fields, they are players that embrace the fact that the internet and more importantly, consumers, exist well beyond the US alone.

    Soon as Google lets us buy/sell stuff using their PayPal-replacment across the bulk of the world, I'll be interested.

  • How does this cut cost? They have work contacting the developers, extra work for processing payments - in every way costs are bound to go up.

    This is a move to increase revenue, not to cut cost.

    Really, I wonder whether slashdot is going for the most pathetic, misinterpreted, contentious or plain wrong submission, in order to provoke negative responses. A shadow of its former self.

  • by gaspyy (514539) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:33AM (#39298561)

    They should do that only when Wallet is available in all countries. Google Wallet is not available in my country, I cannot receive payments so I HAVE TO rely on Paypal for this.

    My app is available on Apple's AppStore, Blackberry's AppWorld, Amazon, Intel AppUp and Samsung's store and they all can send payments. It's just Google who doesn't. Even stranger is that they DO make payments to my country in the AdSense program, I just don't understand why they don't do this for apps on the Chrome Webstore or Google Play.

    • by houghi (78078)

      No, they should not do that at all. What they do is abusing their power. You should be able to use whatever you think is best.
      If you select something else, they should improve of what they have so that your are willing to select them.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Google is trying to become like Apple margin-wise. But with all the fragmentation and lack of normalization of their platforms, you can expect a lot more decisions like this one.

      • by macs4all (973270)

        Google is trying to become like Apple margin-wise. But with all the fragmentation and lack of normalization of their platforms, you can expect a lot more decisions like this one.

        You DO realize, of course, that Google and Apple both take the same 30% from Devs, right?

    • by fermion (181285)
      You are looking at this from the point of view that Google purpose to make developers use Google Wallet. While this may be part of the reason, and is certainly the justification, it is not the primary objective.

      Google always has an objective and a cover. The objective is to often to control the user or the users data. The cover is search, apps, and other useful services. In this case the cover is wallet, the desire is to close the app store in an effort to protect user from malware. If they actual cl

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:33AM (#39298563)

    I tried to pay for conference registration using google payment... after going through too many badly designed data collection screens, I eventually reached an error page that claimed I could resolve it by going to the page I was on...

    I gave up and sent a check.

  • by Wowsers (1151731) on Friday March 09, 2012 @04:44AM (#39298627) Journal

    So what? Ebay also did this with Paypal. Before Ebay ruined itself, you could have a choice of payment processor including the one they most liked you to use - but was NOT compulsory to use their payment processor (which was NOT Paypal).

    Then one day, Ebay decides to make it compulsory to have Paypay as a payment option. Around about that time I gave two fingers to Ebay. You WILL NOT force me to use a 100% unethical bent company to sell my no longer needed stuff, and have not used Ebay since.

    And so Google are going the same way. Oh well.

    • I agree 100%

    • by Rennt (582550)
      That didn't work in Australia thanks to our competition watchdog. The best ebay could manage was to require all sellers offer paypal as an option (previously you could elect not to offer paypal at all). I wonder if the same will apply to Google?
    • by JAlexoi (1085785)

      And so Google are going the same way. Oh well.

      They didn't "just decide", it was a requirement for ages.

  • Google should just issue its own sovereign currency, called Quatloos, and mandate that as the only currency for any of their or their partners business. Google can not be forced to accept USD as a form of payment, as long as, according to US law "no debt has incurred." Quatloos can be exchanged for USD through licensed Google Quatloo Dealers . . . who are owned by Google. The exchange rate will be set . . . by Google. Google employees will be paid in . . . Google Quatloos.

    Students of US history might r

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:20AM (#39298787) Journal

    The Bill Gates/MS icon on Slashdot (is/was) that of a borg version of the Dorky One... the idea being that MS wanted to assimilate you into the collective. Turns out it was a hippy collective indeed with about as many rules as Fight Club with no enforcement.

    It has often been remarked that MS dominance was obtained not so much through the success of MS but through the failure of everyone else. Read Apple, IBM and the various home computer makers whose names are lost in the mists of time only remembered by the senile elders.

    And through their failure, we gained the Wintel platform which now turns out to have been insanely open. Imagine MS telling Windows developers how to collect payment, if at all. Does MS tell Blizzard how to collect its pound of flesh of the enslaved? How shareware should be payed for?

    Does MS dictate which version of MS you should run on Dell hardware? Does Dell stop you from upgrading the OS?

    It is not as if MS never tried but it failed so often nobody took them to serious and so the evil that might have happened, never happened. It is like a brutal dictator whose brutality ends up as a kind of cute outburst with throwing chairs instead of the millions dead with efficient dictators. A dictator who fails at being terrible sounds a lot better then a dictator who succeeds... and Apple and Google are certainly trying hard enough.

    It is kinda sad that companies keep trying to get total control when the PC did so well without it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JBMcB (73720)

      And through their failure, we gained the Wintel platform which now turns out to have been insanely open.

      You don't seem to have a clue what an "open" platform is. Windows is *definitely* not an open platform. On an open platform the following scenario wouldn't happen:

      1. You look up in Microsoft documentation for the best way to import data directly from a document into SQL Server 2005. It says to use ADO.NET.
      2. You try using ADO.NET and get an obscure error.
      3. You search for a couple hours on the internet and find out that the error means ADO.NET is not installed.
      4. You go to try and install ADO.NET, only to f

  • by Zorque (894011) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:25AM (#39298807)

    For one, any in-app purchases made will be tied to your account now. I've seen people lose out on DLC-type purchases they'd made because they switched to a new phone, and the developer of the program used a different payment service. Hopefully this will keep that from happening in the future.

  • ... Be greedy!

  • Anti Trust Suit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rioki (1328185) on Friday March 09, 2012 @05:47AM (#39298893) Homepage
    Do is sense an anti trust suit? Yes I do!
  • They'll be dropped in an open way.

  • they are becoming just as evil as Apple or Microsoft, hopefully enough people at google jump ship and start new search engines and services to give google some competition.
    http://i.imgur.com/5to2k.jpg [imgur.com]
  • by tangent3 (449222) on Friday March 09, 2012 @08:07AM (#39299465)

    According to this article: http://www.i-programmer.info/news/81-web-general/3895-google-insists-on-google-wallet.html [i-programmer.info]

    1. Developers outside the US are exempted
    2. Google Wallet charges a float 5%, Paypal charges $0.30 + 2.9%. Google Wallet is only more expensive if your app costs > $14.28. Considering the prices of most Android apps, I'd say calling Google Wallet "costlier" is a downright lie.

  • Seriously, these guys are making Microsoft look... well, soft.

  • I have bought about 20 or 30 apps for android over the years as I hate losing some screen space to the adverts. I cannot think of a single one that did not use Google Wallet to process my payment.

    I would love to know what percentage of android app developers use other methods to take payments, if it is less than about 5% than I am not in the least bit surprised about this.

  • From TFA: "Although this move by Google might seem high-handed, it reduces the friction for purchases inside Android apps and therefore makes users more valuable,"

    Makes users more valuable? In English please?

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