Google and Apple’s app stores have historically taken a 30% cut on all transactions as a means to recuperate hosting and other services. Large developers have grown increasingly weary of this and turned to other distribution methods. Tinder is the latest example, with the dating service no longer using Google Play’s in-app payments system.
As reported by Bloomberg, Tinder has launched a new default payment process under the guise of “convenience, control and choice.” Users of the online dating network are now required to enter payment details directly to make in-app purchases.
In the past, you could just use existing credit or debit cards tied to your Google Account. Customers now have a direct relationship, with Tinder storing details for any future transactions. The app removes the Google option after the new method is entered.
Tinder benefits by no longer having to hand over 30% for using Google Play Billing, transaction fees for long-term subscriptions differ. For end users, this could make IAPs somewhat more difficult if every service requires entering credit card details. This is a particular hassle if cards are ever compromised, and you have to enter a new one.
There is also the privacy and security concern of customers no longer being able to hide financial details behind Google, and having to give it out to multiple parties.
The app is still available in the Play Store, with the Match Group not following the Epic route of having users download the app directly from the web. Another way of avoiding Google’s 30% cut, Fortnite was briefly subject to a security issue as a result of that distribution avenue.
According to research analyst Ben Schachter at Macquarie, Tinder’s move will not have a massive impact on Google’s bottom line. However, this could signal a trend where other companies follow suit. Larger developers might be inclined, while Play Billing might be more economical for smaller ones.