Apple now lets apps use third-party payment providers in South Korea

Apple will take a 26 percent commission for such transactions, however.

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App Store icon displayed on a phone screen is seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on July 18, 2021.  (Photo Ilustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple has started allowing developers to use alternative payment systems for apps in South Korea, it announced. It made the move to comply with a new law in the nation requiring major app stores to allow alternative payment methods. Apple is still taking a cut from app transactions, though, albeit with a slight reduction in the fee. 

To use alternatives to Apple's own payment system, developers must create a special version of their apps for the Korean App Store. Apple has approved four South Korean payment providers, KCP, Inicis, Toss and NICE and any others must be approved by Apple via a request on its developer website. Certain features like Ask to Buy and Family Sharing won't be available, and Apple takes no responsibility for subscription management or refunds. 

Apple originally appealed the law, but eventually agreed to reduce its usual 30 percent commission to 26 percent. That effectively matches Google, which unveiled its Play Store compliance plans shortly after the law was announced with a four percent discounts on its usual commission. 

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Apple has faced attacks on its policies over the past few years, kicked off after Epic Games sued it for removing Fortnite from the App Store. In the US, proposed Senate bills would force Apple to allow app sideloading on iOS and other measures. Last year, Apple published a 16-page report explaining why it should be able to keep its ecosystem closed. 

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