One of the most important aspects of subscriptions is payment methods. According to a study by Linnworks, “[n]early nine in ten say seamless and flexible payment options speed up their decision making and prompt them to spend more.” It’s clear that consumers cherish convenience, and a frictionless payment experience is key. 

To expand user billing choice for a better checkout experience, Google Play announced the launch of a pilot program that allows a select group of participating developers to add a third-party billing option in their own apps. Spotify will be one of the first to test this, rolling it out in markets with Spotify Premium. Beyond offering more options to the user, this pilot is also a direct response to traditional commission structures that have sparked debate between app stores and businesses with apps.

What this means for the subscription industry

For subscription businesses, this is a step in the right direction. Subscription success relies heavily on providing more customization to the user. Google Play’s offer of an additional billing option emphasizes a few things for subscription businesses:

  • The importance of payment flexibility. Between Google Pay, Shop Pay, and the innumerable payment methods out there, shoppers are not without options at checkout. However, this is one situation where the more, the merrier. Everything from credit cards and digital wallets to a plethora of payment gateways and even buy now, pay later plans proves that payment flexibility is vital in any checkout experience.

  • Enhancing the user experience. At the core of any transaction is the customer, and their experience shopping with your business impacts their desire to return. Payment methods have become a crucial element of the customer journey, and a smooth purchase incident contributes to the overall feel of a shopping experience.

  • The subscription industry is constantly innovating. The subscription industry is projected to become a $1.5 trillion industry by 2025, and that can be attributed to the ever-evolving state of subscriptions. Google Play’s latest move is proof that leaders in the space are always looking to progress–motivated by the cries of consumers. 

Recurly’s response

With the payments space top of mind, Jonas Flodh, Recurly’s Chief Product Officer, is excited about this development. “Recurly can already support this through the in-app SDKs we just built. If it really opens up, we would invest more in that path. I hope that more merchants will be allowed to join [the pilot program] soon.” 

With more and more payment options surfacing, Recurly is prepared to help its customers adapt and implement quickly. Our recent launch of Recurly Partner Connect allows payment partners to get certified and build connections to Recurly’s API so merchants can stay with their preferred gateway partners. The payments space will continue to evolve, and with Recurly as a partner, you’ll always be ready.