Apple announced Thursday that developers can now use a third-party payment system for the South Korean App Store. The company specified that developers must submit a separate binary for iOS or iPadOS “distributed exclusively on the App Store in South Korea.”
The company said it will charge a 26% commission from app developers who use third-party payment systems — 1% less than what it charges from Dutch dating apps that use a similar method. Apart from that, app developers should choose the target that their apps should save for the South Korean app store a claim form before you get started. It also recommended developers use one of the pre-approved payment processors, including KCP, Inicis, Toss, and NICE.
South Korea passed a bill last year to force Apple and Google to allow developers to use third-party payment systems for in-app purchases. In January, Apple said it will comply with the law without releasing details. Today, the company has prepared specifications for developers to use third-party payment systems.
“To comply with this law, developers can use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement. This right allows apps that are distributed exclusively in South Korea on the App Store to provide an alternative in-app payment processing option,” Apple said.
Apple’s requirement to submit a separate binary is similar to a solution it proposed in January for Dutch dating apps that use third-party payment systems for in-app purchases. However, after pushback from the Dutch regulator ACM, the company dropped the requirement to submit separate binary files.
The companies new rules for app distribution in the South Korean app store also contain the condition that you cannot use Apple’s in-app payment system if you use an alternative payment solution. Developers should also include an in-app modal sheet in English and Korean to inform users that they will not be using Apple’s in-app payment system and will not be able to use some features, such as Family Sharing.
“If you’re considering exercising this right, it’s important to understand that some App Store features, such as Ask to Buy and Family Sharing, will not be available to your users, in part because we’re making payments outside of the App Store’s private and secure payment system,” the company told the developers in a statement.
The Cupertino-based company warned developers that if they use alternative payment options, they must be responsible for handling customer inquiries, including refund requests and subscription management.
Apple uses the same playbook in South Korea as in the Netherlands to make developers work hard if they want to use third-party payment systems. It will be interesting to see if the Korea Communication Commission (KCC) will accept Apple’s proposed changes, or, like ACM, will ask the company to make these rules more developer-friendly.
We have reached out to the KCC and Apple for comment.