Apple announced it will introduce third-party payment options for the first time in iOS apps, following South Korean legislation designed to open up the perceived monopolies of Google and Apple's app stores.

The alternative payments will only be available in South Korea and follows the announcement of similar changes by Google last November.

Apple to Introduce Third-Party Payment Options in South Korea

Apple's decision was shared by the Korea Communications Commission or KCC and reported by the Yonhap News Agency, but details of the implementation are not yet available as of press time.

Apple currently charges developers a 30 percent fee on any digital purchases made by consumers using iOS apps.

This fee has become increasingly contentious for developers, and was at the heart of the huge US lawsuit between Apple and 'Fortnite' developer Epic Games.

Also Read: South Korean Fintech Firms To File NFC Complaint Against Apple

As a result of the lawsuit, a judge ordered Apple to allow third-party payments in the App Store, but this order was later put on hold due to an appeal, according to a report by The Verge.

Apple has since made a tiny concession to "reader apps" like Netflix, allowing them to link to websites to sign up users for new accounts, but that's nothing like allowing in-app third-party payments.

In South Korea, lawmakers have upheld complaints by developers about in-app payments, leading to new legislation.

Apple says its will charge developers a reduced fee to use third-party payment options, just as Google has promised for its own third-party payment support. However, some developers have said that it is unfair for these companies to charge any fee at all. Apple and Google say fees are necessary to maintain and promote their app platforms.

Apple has not said how much it will charge developers to implement third-party payments in South Korea, when this option will be available, or how exactly will these new payments be made available to consumers.

The exact details of the implementation will be very important, as seemingly small decisions in things like app store UI can be used to steer consumers one way or another, according to 9to5Mac

Apple told Yonhap in a press statement that the company has a great deal of respect for Korea's laws and a strong history of collaboration with the country's talented app developers.

Apple added that their work will always be guided by keeping the App Store a safe and trusted place for users to be able to download the apps they love. The tech giant has also said that they are looking forward to working with the KCC and their developer community on a solution that benefits their Korean users.

Google's In-App Payment in South Korea

In November 2021, Google announced changes it will make to its in-app payments options in South Korea -  a significant step back for the tech giant as governments around the world seek to curb the control Google and Apple wield over their mobile ecosystems.

In a blog post, Google says it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases to appear alongside its own Google Play billing system in Android apps.

The company will still charge developers a commission if users pay using a third-party system, but this fee will be reduced slightly as compensation for the costs of supporting alternative payments.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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