There are many ways to monetize an application. What affects your choice here are the aims and specifics of your application and the market, for which it was made. One of those methods is organizing purchases within the app. From this text, you will find out how iOS organized the process, what Apple and their competitors provide you with, and why you sometimes will have no choice.
This simple and easy to use mechanism was developed by Apple to help organize sales of their apps or of additional features from their apps. Apple takes a 30% fee from every purchase made with In-App Purchases
There are three types of In-App Purchases:
- Consumable This purchase can be done multiple times. For example, lives or energy in games.
- Non-consumable This purchase can only be done once. For example, a character in a game or a movie in an online theater.
- Subscriptions (auto-renewable and non-renewable) A payment that unlocks your app’s functions for a limited period of time. Auto-renewable subscriptions charge users automatically at the end of each paid period. To continue using non-renewable subscriptions, users need to renew them manually. iTunes is an example of that.
A few other payment systems
Stripe is an American company that develops solutions for accepting and processing electronic payments. Stripe allows users to integrate payment processing into their apps without a need to register a merchant account.
Stripe takes 2.9% + 30 cents from each successful transaction.
PayPal is the largest debit digital payment platform. PayPal users are able to pay bills, make purchases, accept, and send money transactions.
PayPal takes from 2.9% to 3.9% commission fee, depending on how expensive the product was. The exact fee amount depends on your sales figures and whether you trade domestically or internationally.
Do you need In-App Purchases?
Apple charges lots of money in comparison to their competitors. Going for Stripe or PayPal might look like a no-brainer, but it’s not so simple. When you develop an iOS application, you face multiple requirements from Apple. One of those requirements prohibits you from making purchases through something other than In-App Purchases.
All digital and virtual goods and services must be paid via In-App Purchases. Therefore, owners of entertainment apps and online movie theaters, digital content sellers, and others must use In-App Purchases.
On the other hand, if you’ve created a mobile app for your online store, tour agency, or air ticket office, the outcome of the deal between you and your buyer is a physical item or a physical document that proves your right to use the service. In that case, you can use an external payment system and get your money fast, avoiding being ripped-off by the App Store.