Apple now allows App Store developers in South Korea to use third-party payment systems. The option is limited to apps distributed in the country.
The Cupertino giant is allowing alternative payment processors in the South Korean App Store to comply with the amended Telecommunications Business Act.
South Korea has forced Apple to allow alternative payment systems
South Korean developers can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement to use alternative payment processing systems in their apps.
In its announcement on the developer portal, Apple says that its in-app purchase system “offers people around the world a private and secure user experience across apps and Apple devices.” However, it is offering South Korean developers the option to use alternative payment systems to comply with the local law.
The Telecommunications Business Act in South Korea was recently amended to mandate that apps distributed by app market operators in South Korea be allowed to offer an alternative payment processing option within their apps. To comply with this law, developers can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement. This entitlement allows apps distributed on the App Store solely in South Korea the ability to provide an alternative in-app payment processing option. Developers who want to continue using Apple’s in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed.
In August 2021, South Korea became the first country to force Apple to allow third-party payments on the App Store.
Developers will miss out on certain App Store features
Developers using a third-party payment processor cannot offer App Store features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing. Additionally, Apple cannot help users with refunds and subscription management when they use an alternative payment system. Developers will need to address these issues on their own.
Apple has approved KCP, Incise, Toss and NICE as alternative payment processors for the App Store. While developers can use any other payment system, Apple must certify it first.
Apple will continue to charge a commission on sales
Even when developers use a third-party payment system, they will have to pay Apple a 26% commission. That’s 4% less than what the company charges for using its payment option. But developers are unlikely to save much by ditching Apple’s payment system. The alternative payment processor will charge its own fee on top of Apple’s commission.
If you are an App Store developer in South Korea and intend to use an alternative payment system, you can fill up the entitlement request from Apple.