Apple has informed developers that those making dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands that use an alternative payments system no longer need to create and use a separate binary.
They can accept alternative payments in their existing dating apps. However, this change only applies to the Netherlands and only on devices running iOS or iPadOS.
This may end a long-running conflict that started in January. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has repeatedly fined Apple for failing to satisfy the requirements set by regarding payment systems for dating-app providers. The organization has said Apple must adjust its conditions for access to the Dutch App Store for dating-app providers. In the App Store, the ACM has said that dating-app providers must also be able to use payment systems other than Apple’s payment system. In addition, dating-app providers must have the ability to refer to payment systems outside of the app.
Apple has said it disagrees with the ACM on these requirements and has appealed it.
From the Apple Developer website: Since February of this year, developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands have been able to use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement or the StoreKit External Purchase Link Entitlement to enable the capability to sell services through a payment system other than Apple’s in-app purchase system. Apple established these entitlements as part of our plan to comply with a recent Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) order. Today we’ve introduced changes to these entitlements, which include:
- Removal of the Separate Binary Requirement: Apple is eliminating the requirement that developers of dating apps in the Netherlands who choose to use the above entitlements must create and use a separate binary. This change means that developers may include either entitlement in their existing dating app, but still must limit its use to the app in the Netherlands storefront and on devices running iOS or iPadOS.
- Payment Service Provider Criteria: Apple is providing updated and more-specific criteria to evaluate non-Apple payment service providers that developers of dating apps in the Netherlands may use.
- Consumer Disclosures: Apps that use either entitlement need to include an in-app modal sheet that explains to users that they’re going to make purchases through an external payment system, and the potential impact that choice could have on the user. Apple is adjusting the language on the modal sheet and reducing the number of times the sheet must be displayed.
Developers of dating apps who want to continue using Apple’s in-app purchase system — which we believe is the safest and most secure way for users to purchase digital goods and services — may do so and no further action is needed.