We have previously written about how reaching end-users is challenging for Android developers - Google Play is not the only channel for distribution and dozens of alternative app stores are growing in market share, especially in emerging markets. Google Play payments do not work in these alternative channels so while you are getting additional downloads, using the same payment solution does not work.
It is also important to note that a growing number of Android devices shipped are not running Google’s version of Android: 30% of Android phones shipped in Q3 2013 had a customized version of Android installed into them. These devices also do not support Google Play billing functionality and many device manufacturers are preloading their own app stores into these devices as there is no revenue to be made for them through Google Play.
The OpenIAB project aims to solve these problems by creating a unified billing library which can be used to collect payments from any app store. OpenIAB already works on Google Play, Amazon App Store, Samsung Apps, Appland and Yandex-Store. The billing library integrated into your app automatically detects which store the user is coming from and launches the appropriate payment flow.
Operator billing will further inrease the coverage of the OpenIAB library as our payments work on any app store for end-users in 80 countries. The 1-click payment flow has significantly higher conversion than credit card based payments, especially in countries where very few users have credit cards.
More information about the OpenIAB project can be found on their homepage.
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Read the full announcement here.