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Google halts recurring payment options on Play Store

Google will stop on-boarding new recurring payment customers on its Android Play Store, as the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) new recurring payment rules come into effect from September this year. In an email to developers, Google said that free trials and introductory pricing should be removed from apps and from any user communication "until the ecosystem challenges are addressed." MediaNama has seen a copy of the email. Back in August 2019, the RBI issued a new framework for managing auto-debit or recurring transactions that are created through electronic mandates or e-mandates. An e-mandate is an electronic instruction to a bank/card issuer to debit a card or bank account for a specific amount every month towards a specific merchant or business. These are used for insurance payments, mutual fund contributions, subscription services and other recurring payment use-cases. In its email, Google said that will also temporarily suspend free trials and introductory pricing for users in India. Lump-sum payment options (1 month or 12 months) for subscriptions will continue to be available on the Play Store, but customers cannot can’t sign up for a free trial or take advantage of introductory pricing without also signing up for an auto-debit subscription. The new payment policy will come into effect from May onward, Google said. Since users cannot set up new e-mandates for recurring payments to apps on the Android Play Store, they will need to re-subscribe at the end of every month, it said. Google recommends developers replace auto-renewing subscription SKUs in…

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