Google Play Cancels Free Trials, Special Pricing, Auto-Payment Features In India

Google Play to suspend its services in India temporarily, after RBI's new notification.
Google Play to suspend its services in India temporarily, after RBI’s new notification.

This includes temporary suspension of free trial services and introductory pricing facilities for users in India, in addition to pausing new signups of auto-renewing subscriptions.

RBI has clarified that doing so would improve users’ safety and convenience, reducing fraudulent practices.

What is RBI’s New Mandate on Recurring Transactions?

According to RBI’s notification, “automatic transactions will have to go through Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) for the first transaction, as well as subsequent successive transactions, subject to certain conditions”.

This means such recurring transactions will have to be manually authenticated via a one-time password (OTP), at least when they are being set up, states BusinessToday.

The new rule calls for an additional layer of authentication for recurring transactions via credit cards, debit cards, UPI, and other prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) including digital wallets.

Google Play Store to Suspends Certain Services in India 

In compliance with RBI’s recent notification, Google Play will be putting into place a temporary suspension and changes for its users in India.

This will include suspension of all free trials for new subscription sign-ups, in extension to introductory pricing.

Beginning from April 1, the central bank had given stakeholders a six-month time frame to migrate to the new framework issued in April 2019.

Initially applicable to cards and wallets, the framework was extended in January 2020 to cover Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions as well, states Moneycontrol.

Google has informed its developers of these temporary changes for its Indian users, via an email.

The reason for suspending these services in India is the way in which Google Play operates its auto-renewing subscriptions, according to which you cannot sign up for a free trial or take advantage of introductory pricing without also signing up for an auto-renewing subscription.

Google added that subscriptions will continue to be in place, except only for a single billing period of access (in some cases for 1 month).

The users will have to sign-up again, in order to continue their subscriptions for the following month(s).

These changes go into effect in early May but will not impact existing auto-renewing subscriptions or other markets. Google is recommending developers remove free trials and introductory pricing from their apps as well as from any user communications.

Source: XDA developers

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