by Jay Greene
Reuters reports that Google is leaning on developers to use its payment processing service rather than rival offerings, though the company says that its policy has not changed.
The news service reported today that Google is pushing applications and mobile game developers to use its payment service instead of rivals, such as PayPal, Zong, and Boku, threatening removal the apps from the Android Marketplace as a consequence. On Tuesday, Google rebranded the marketplace, Google Play.
Google, though, says nothing is new. It’s always required developers to use its payment processing service, even if some tried to skirt the policy.
Reuters based its report largely on interviews with developers. Google did not comment for its story.
But according to the Android Market Developer Program Policies, developers charging for their apps must use “an authorized Payment Processor.” Presumably, that payment processor is Google Wallet, though it’s unclear from the policy Web site if that’s so. Regardless, Google says there is nothing new in the payment processing requirements on developers.
“Our policies haven’t changed,” a Google spokesman said.
The challenge for developers is that Google doesn’t pre-approve apps before they show up in the marketplace. That’s in stark contrast to Apple, which forces developers to go through a rigorous process before their apps debut in iTunes. Google can only enforce its policies after the apps appear.
A developer cited in the Reuters report received a letter last summer from Google giving the company 30 days to comply with the terms of the policy, otherwise Google would “suspend” the app from its marketplace. According to Reuters, Papaya used PayPal and Zong as payment processors for its social games on Android, but has switched to Google Wallet under pressure from Google.