Google Play is pressing pause on free trials in India — here’s why

Google says it will have to change the way it handles auto-renewing subscriptions to re-introduce free trials in the country.

What you need to know

  • Google Play has decided to temporarily suspend free trials and introductory pricing for users in India.
  • Google has also paused new signups of auto-renewing subscriptions due to new RBI regulations.
  • Users will have to sign up again to continue a subscription at the end of the billing duration.

Google has introduced temporary changes for Google Play users in India, putting a pause on free trials and auto-renewing subscriptions. According to XDA Developers, Google has sent out emails to developers, notifying them that new signups of auto-renewing subscriptions for users in the country will remain suspended „until the ecosystem challenges are addressed.“

The temporary changes have been introduced in response to a new regulation by RBI, India’s Central Bank. RBI’s new guidelines on recurring transactions via credit cards, debit cards, UPI, digital wallets, and other prepaid payment instruments (PPI) call for an „additional layer of authentication.“ This means all recurring transactions will have to be manually authenticated by users using a one-time password (OTP).

In addition to auto-renewing subscriptions, Google has also decided to temporarily suspend free trials and introductory pricing for Google Play users in the country. Subscriptions on Google Play will now be available only as single access passes, which offer a single billing period of access to users. If you want your subscription to the best Android apps to continue, you will have to manually sign up again at the end of the billing period.

The new Google Play Changes are set to go into effect within a few days, but existing auto-renewing subscriptions will not be affected. Developers have been asked to remove free trials and auto-renewing subscription SKUs from their apps in the country.


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