Apple has recently revised its App Store guidelines, allowing developers to integrate links to alternative payment platforms within their applications. This new update is exclusive to the iOS and iPadOS App Stores in the United States and necessitates developers to seek a special entitlement for enabling the capability to link payments to external websites and platforms.
However, it’s worth noting some conditions. Apple will levy a 27% commission on each transaction conducted outside the App Store, a slight reduction from the standard 30% Apple App Store tax. Additionally, developers are still required to incorporate Apple’s in-app purchase system within their apps. Developers participating in the App Store Small Business Program are subject to a reduced 12% commission.
Apple has outlined specific guidelines for the appearance and behavior of external payment screens and website links, as part of the StoreKit External Purchase Link API. The company will also display warning screens when apps attempt to redirect users to external payment platforms, reminding users that Apple will not be accountable for purchases made on external websites.
(App Store Review Guidelines Section 3.1.1(a))
- Developers have the option to apply for an entitlement, allowing them to include a link in their app to a website that they own or are responsible for maintaining for purchasing specific items.
- In compliance with the entitlement agreement, the link may provide information to users about where and how to purchase in-app items, including the potential availability of such items at a comparatively lower price.
- This entitlement is applicable solely within the iOS or iPadOS App Store on the United States storefront.
- In all other storefronts, apps and their metadata should not contain buttons, external links, or other calls to action directing customers to purchase mechanisms outside of in-app purchases.