Google has denied penalizing developers for using third-party payment services, contesting claims that it told Android app makers they risked marketplace rejection for using PayPal or others instead of Google Wallet. Despite reports earlier this week that Google had contacted developers using PayPal, Zong, Boku or other payment providers, and threatened to suspend their listings in the freshly-renamed Google Play marketplace, the search company says its policy on payments is unchanged.
Google’s warning, so it was claimed, was that Papaya needed to ditch PayPal and Zong and instead adopt Play In-app Billing, giving the developers thirty days to make the changes.
However, a Google spokesperson told both TechCrunch and The Verge that in fact its policies on in-app payments were unchanged from the original rules of March 2011. Those mandate that in-app purchasing be done through Google’s own system, with the spokesperson saying that it was likely just serendipitous timing that saw Papaya get a warning. “If [a developer] had been in breach of that, and we had only just noticed, that’s when we would send out a letter.”
If purchases within apps are for non-app-related goods or content – such as a hotel booking, or some sort of online shopping order – then developers are free to use their payment provider of choice, the spokesperson explained. However, if they are offering new app content, then they must use Play In-app Billing, complete with its 30-percent tithe to Google.