Apple to Allow In-App Third-Party Payment Options for First Time in the Netherlands

In the first ever concession of its kind, Apple will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands.

In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compelled the company to allow third-party payment services to pay for in-app purchases in dating apps. The move will circumvent Apple's 15 to 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, but only for app in the dating category.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has recently ordered developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands to share additional payment processing options with users.
To comply with the order, we're introducing two optional new entitlements exclusively applicable to dating apps on the Netherlands App Store that provide additional payment processing options for users. Developers who want to continue using Apple's in-app purchase system can do so.

Developers will need to use Apple's entitlements in order to implement third-party payment options in Dutch dating apps, but the company warned them that this will involve additional responsibilities and pose a number of new risks.

It's important to understand that some features of the App Store that you may use won't be available to your customers, in part because we can't verify the security and safety of payments that take place outside of the App Store's private and secure environment. Apple will not be able to help users with refunds, purchase history, subscription management, and other issues when purchasing digital goods and services through alternative purchasing methods. You will be responsible for resolving the issues with customers.

Apple disagrees with the ruling and believes it is not in the best interest of its users. Apple is concerned that the changes could compromise the user experience and create new threats to user privacy and data security.

Apple highlighted the benefits of its own payment system to developers, which continues to be available as an option for developers to use in Dutch dating apps.

The App Store was designed by Apple to be a safe place to download and discover apps. Apple's in-app purchase system is an important part of our world-class commerce platform and makes it easy for people to manage their purchases and subscriptions for digital goods and services.

An investigation started in the year of 2020 that examined whether Apple's business practices amounted to an abuse of market power. Match Group, the owner of the dating app, claimed that Apple's rules prevented it from communicating with its customers directly about payments.

Apple imposes unreasonable conditions by forbidding user choice about in-app purchase methods. If Apple didn't allow third-party payment options for dating apps by January 15, it would face a 50 million euro fine. Apple said that it will give more information soon.