Apple extends deadline for group event in-app purchase requirement

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on November 24, 2020

Apple has extended its deadline for developers who offer paid online group event experiences to mandatorily use in-app purchases to June 30, 2021.

Developers who offer paid event experiences through iOS apps are required to use Apple’s in-app purchase system and, thus, are subject to a 30 per cent commission. Apple has extended the deadline for developers to comply with this rule to June 30, 2021.

“As the world fights Covid-19, we recognise that adapting experiences from in-person to digital continues to be a top priority,” Apple said.

“Although apps are required to offer any paid online group event experiences (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime experiences) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review guideline 3.1.1, we temporarily deferred this requirement with an original deadline of December 2020. To allow additional time for developing in-app purchase solutions, this deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021,” it said.

App store commission

Apple’s policies of charging organisers providing one to few and group experiences through iOS apps have been in place for quite a while. The requirement subjects them to a 30 per cent app store commission.

Apple had decided to waive the requirement of using its in-app payments systems for event organisers and online classes till the end of the year shortly after Facebook had raised the issue that event organisers were losing money on digital events. Apple’s 30 per cent commission on in-app payments was causing event organisers on the Facebook app to lose out on much-needed earnings from digital events during Covid-19.

Apple has extended this requirement to June next year, providing further concession for organisers.

The tech giant allows developers to use other payment methods for one-on-one real-time experiences.

“Please note that guideline 3.1.3(d) allows apps offering realtime person-to-person experiences between two individuals (for example, tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training) to use purchase methods other than in-app purchase,” Apple said.

“If your app enables the purchase of realtime person-to-person experiences between two individuals (for example tutoring students, medical consultations, real estate tours, or fitness training), you may use purchase methods other than in-app purchase to collect those payments. One-to-few and one-to-many realtime experiences must use in-app purchase,” read Apple’s guidelines.

Apple to halve App Store fees as legal scrutiny intensifies

Earlier this month, Apple also announced its App Store Small Business Programme, a new commission structure for small and individual developers on its App Store.

As part of the programme, Apple will charge a reduced 15 per cent commission to developers who have qualified for the program. Developers who have earned up to $1 million in proceeds during the previous calendar can qualify.

Published on November 24, 2020

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