Technology, Smartphones, Games

New Payment Option on Google Play Store: Someone Else Can Pay for Your Apps

The Google Play Store, well-known as the go-to place for Android apps, has introduced a new payment method that many might find intriguing. In addition to using payment cards, PayPal, and Google Play credit, users in India now have a new option to get their apps or in-app purchases paid for by someone else. This feature is aptly named “Ask someone else to pay.”

How It Works

When you choose this new payment method, the Play Store allows you to send a payment link to another person who can then pay for the app or in-app purchase on your behalf. However, there are a few conditions to note. The person you're asking for payment will be able to see exactly what you're buying and will also have the power to request a refund if needed. To complete the payment, they will need to know your full email address.


Pic Credit: Android Authority

Once these conditions are accepted, you can send the payment link through any messaging app. The recipient of the link has 24 hours to complete the transaction before the link expires.


Pic Credit: Android Authority

This feature can be particularly useful for older adults who may not be very tech-savvy but have younger family members who can assist them with payments. It also offers a convenient way for parents to pay for their children’s app purchases or for friends to gift apps to one another.

However, it’s important to use this feature wisely. Given that the person making the payment will see what you're purchasing, it might not be suitable for every situation. Additionally, since they can request a refund, there’s a level of trust required between the requester and the payer.

Currently, this new payment option is only available in India. There hasn’t been an official announcement regarding its availability in other regions, but it’s likely that Google may roll it out more broadly in the future if it proves successful.

From a developer’s perspective, enabling this feature is straightforward. Any app that uses version six or newer of the Play Billing Library will automatically support the “Ask someone else to pay” option. This broad compatibility should make the feature widely accessible without requiring significant updates from developers.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of the “Ask someone else to pay” feature on the Google Play Store is an interesting development that adds more flexibility to how users can pay for apps and in-app purchases. While it’s currently limited to users in India, the potential for this feature to be adopted in other regions is high. It offers a convenient solution for those who might need financial assistance from others or simply want to gift apps to friends and family. As with any new feature, it will be important for users to understand the conditions and use it appropriately to avoid any potential misunderstandings.