Tinder Joins Companies Who Are Bypassing Fees from Google Play

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Tinder Google Play Screen Capture

App companies are growing frustrated with splitting their increasing revenues with Google Play and the Apple Store, as they continue to pay 30 percent to the tech giants on every transaction made through their app stores. But now, Tinder is offering its customers a direct payment method, a way to bypass Google Play altogether.

The popular dating app is allowing its Android users to enter their credit card information directly into the app rather than using Google Play to buy premium subscriptions like Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus. Once you’ve entered the information, the app automatically defaults to this payment system for all future in-app purchases and renewal fees as well.

According to The Verge, Tinder isn’t the first company to side-step app stores. Epic Games, a popular video game developer, last year released its hit game Fortnite via its own downloadable launcher to avoid giving Google 30 percent of its revenues. Popular music service Spotify has filed an anti-trust complaint against Apple with the European Union for alleged anti-competitive tactics. Apple is now being investigated by the Union for disadvantaging other companies in favor of its own offerings, specifically Apple Music, which competes directly with Spotify. Netflix is also looking at options to avoid the Apple and Google Play stores, especially with Apple now entering the content business.

Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, hasn’t said whether they will offer the same bypass payment feature to Apple users.

“At Match Group, we constantly test new updates and features to offer convenience, control and choice to our users,” Match Group spokesperson Justine Sacco said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We will always try to provide options that benefit their experience and offering payment options is one example of this.”

While the 30 percent cut originally helped Google and Apple build their app stores, the fees are now becoming a hindrance for other app developers and companies to grow their businesses. In fact, Google and Apple are often looked upon as tax collectors rather than tech companies providing added value or exposure for the apps.

“They’re (Google and Apple) very aggressive about making sure companies aren’t trying to work around their billing,” Alex Austin, co-founder of mobile company Branch, told website Accounting Today. “They have whole teams reviewing these flows to ensure they get their tax.”

According to The Verge, Google hasn’t taken action against Tinder for bypassing their own payment system, but it’s not out of the question. Since the app is still available in the Play Store it is still bound by Google’s terms. However, Google took no action against Epic Games, so perhaps Tinder is hoping for the same. If successful, Google and Apple might face other companies following suit.