Devs are mad at Apple’s ‘reduction’ in Dutch App Store fees — and rightly so

Apple has finally explained how it will allow Dutch dating apps to use alternative payment systems.

The headline is this: Apple will take a 27% commission from these purchases — down from the 30% it collects through the App Store.

Developers across the world are mad at this nominal discount from the iPhone maker, and rightly so — especially when the new directive is incredibly complex.

We’ll get into all this, but first, here’s a refresher of what has happened so far.

How did Apple get here?

Last year, the Duch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) found Apple guilty of breaching antitrust laws by forcing developers to use its own system for in-app purchases, as well as taking a 15% or 30% cut.

Notably, the watchdog’s ruling only focused on dating apps in the Netherlands. In January, Apple agreed to let developers use alternative payment methods, but provided no details on how this’d work.

This changed over the weekend. The company issued guidelines that require a separate binary for the Dutch app store, and a 27% commission — even if you use a non-Apple payment processing system.

What are the requirements to adopt a new in-app payment system?

Here are some of the conditions Apple has specified for Dutch dating app developers:

  • You have to submit an app binary file that’ll only work on the Netherlands store.
  • You have to pay a 27% commission on all purchases made through alternative payment systems.
  • You have to submit a detailed monthly report to Apple about all purchases made through third-party processors.
  • If you’re redirecting a user to a payment website, you must only include one link, and you can’t pass any parameters along with it. In other words, users will have to manually enter basic information on the payments page, making the whole process much more of an ordeal.
  • Before starting an in-app purchase flow, you have to show a warning saying “​​This app does not support the App Store’s private and secure payment system.”