In a move to prevent paying fees to Google with in-app purchases, Tinder has changed its default payment process. Going forward, the Tinder app will now force users to enter payment info directly into the app — bypassing Google’s payment method.
Furthermore, once you have entered your payment info, the app will remember it and will no longer give you a choice to pay with Google Play in the future.
Tinder is not the first app to look for a way to sidestep fees from Google Play. However, it is the first app which has changed the payment method in-app. Other apps have attempted something similar in the past, but it required forcing users to enter their info on a website.
In-app purchases are big business for Google and Apple, with both companies taking up to 30% of the revenue from developers. When you’re talking about a billion-dollar industry, that adds up to a lot of income for the two companies and a lot of lost revenue for the app developers. That’s why you’re seeing more and more developers looking for a way to bypass paying these fees, sometimes skipping the app stores entirely.
You may remember when Epic Games launched Fortnite, it did so in a rather controversial way by requiring users to download and install outside of the Play Store. This ensured that Epic Games could keep all the profit from purchases, but it also had the disadvantage of opening up its users to security exploits, as we saw soon after the launch.
Tinder’s approach is far less controversial, but it still accomplishes the same goal. The move is one that is surely worrying Google, as it risks losing additional revenue if more apps follow in the footsteps of Epic Games and Tinder.