Since February of this year, developers of dating apps on the App Store in the Netherlands have been able to use the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement or the StoreKit External Purchase Link Entitlement to enable the capability to sell services through a payment system other than Apple’s in-app purchase system. Apple established these entitlements as part of our plan to comply with a recent Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) order. Today we’ve introduced changes to these entitlements, which include:
[…] Consumer Disclosures: Apps that use either entitlement need to include an in-app modal sheet that explains to users that they’re going to make purchases through an external payment system, and the potential impact that choice could have on the user. Apple is adjusting the language on the modal sheet and reducing the number of times the sheet must be displayed.
The new language is more subdued than its misleading predecessor, and it is one of three modest changes made to this entitlement’s use. The biggest change is that developers no longer have to submit an entirely separate binary for using this entitlement in the Dutch App Store. The big question for Apple is whether this will appease regulators there.
The big question for me is whether this purchase flow will be expanded beyond dating apps and outside of the Netherlands. It is becoming quite polished, and permitting it within an existing binary seems like a possible — albeit unlikely — path toward broader use. Of course, Apple also makes it know that it continues to disagree with the ruling and is appealing it, so my question is probably answered.