In response to a long-running lawsuit with Epic Games, Apple has updated its developer guidelines, allowing US-based developers to add links and buttons to external websites for non-Apple payment methods.
This decision follows the US Supreme Court’s denial to hear appeals from both Apple and Epic Games earlier this week.
Apple was appealing a lower court ruling that stated it needed to allow the option for outside payment methods, while Epic was appealing a lower court ruling regarding Apple’s monopoly over the sector.
While Apple has changed its rules and now allows developers to give clients payment options outside of Apple Pay, the company is still requiring the developers to pay fees of up to 27% of these transactions.
Developers who are part of Apple’s Small Business Program and those renewing subscriptions for a second year receive a reduced fee of 12% – down from the standard 15%.
Apple claims this three-point discount for developers opting for alternative payment methods will offset outside fees for other payment processors.
Critics argue that 3% is not sufficient and Apple is, in effect, still making out on the deal.
Apple maintains that its payment processing system is the most seamless experience for buyers because of features like Family Sharing and Apple’s assistance with refunds and subscription management.
Apple still requires developers to seek permission to include links and submit transaction reports within 15 days of a month’s end.
The company also provides interface guidelines, informing users about potential limitations when opting for external payment options.
It is unclear how Apple will audit outside transactions effectively, and the company anticipates challenges in collecting commissions due to the scale of the App Store.