Dutch app store change allows dating apps to accept third-party payments

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Apple has confirmed that it will comply with a regulatory order to change its payment rules on the App Store, allowing dating apps in the Netherlands to use third-party payment mechanisms.

In an announcement to developers on Friday, Apple says it is complying with an order from the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to provide two “new optional rights.” Both additions will apply to payment processing options only in the Dutch App Store and will only apply to dating apps.

The announcement links to a new developer support page dedicated to the changes, as well as advising developers on what they can offer consumers.

Developers to whom the command applies can choose one of three options:

  • Continue to use Apple’s existing in-app purchase system.
  • Include an in-app link directing customers to the developer’s website to make a purchase.
  • Use a third-party payment system in the app.

Apple further advises that developers should understand that the company “cannot validate the safety and security of payments that take place outside of the App Store’s private and secure payment system.” Since Apple does not have this knowledge, it will also not be “able to assist users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues” related to purchases made. outside of the App Store.

“You will be responsible for resolving these issues with customers,” Apple concludes.

The change is due to an ACM decision issued in October and published in December, determining that Apple violated competition laws in the country. The ACM told Apple it must make changes to the App Store or face fines of up to 50 million euros. ($57 million)

Although Apple made the change, it still intends to challenge the decision, telling developers it appealed to a higher court “because we don’t believe these orders are in the best interests of our users”. Apple cites user privacy and data security concerns that could “compromise user experience”.

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