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Apple introduces “Grace period” for App Store subscriptions

By Bhupinder Kour
September 16, 2019 2. min read
Last update on: April 7, 2020

News in brief:

  • Apple introduces the “Grace Period” option allowing additional time to users to renew their subscription.
  • Developers will benefit from this newly added option, as it will help them retain users.
  • The feature can be enabled from App Store Connect.

Apple is on an improvement spree, with its recent modification being on how subscriptions will work on the App Store from now on. 

Apple has introduced a new option for the developers, where they can offer a “Grace period” to the user of the apps included in the subscription package. This step was taken in the direction to rectify the problem of the lapse in the payment which cut off the customers from accessing any app’s subscription-based features. Doing this will give more time to Apple to collect pending payments on the developer’s behalf.

The lapses in payment are often frequent and occur for numerous reasons such as expired credit cards, changes in the address which requires an update of the billing ZIP code and so on. This results in the developer’s losing customers not because of their unwillingness to continue, but because of the incompetent billing process.

The ios app developers would be able to access Grace Period option from App Store Connect, however, it is an opt-in, instead of opt-out on the developers’ part.

The CEO of RevenueCat, an in-app subscription startup, Jacob Eiting remarked: “Grace period on iOS would be a big win for users, but the fact that developers have to opt-in and build server-side support means that practically few apps will get around to supporting it,”. 

Here is the whole process on how to enable Grace Period.

  1. Go to the App Store Connect
  2. Click My Apps on the homepage and later select your application from the given list
  3. Go to the toolbar and click on the Features option 
  4. Select In-app Purchases placed in the left column
  5. Now, in the Billing Grace Period section, you need to select the “Turn on” option
  6. When the Pop-up window shows, click on the confirm option and viola!

According to him, Apple is just catching up with the trend that Google introduced in Google Play back in 2018.

In Apple’s documentation, it is mentioned that once the developers enable this option, the app will try to collect payment for either 6 or 16 days, depending entirely on the duration of the subscription – monthly or weekly. During this time, the subscription services will continue as they do. After the resubscription of 60 days, the duration of paid service will reset, allowing developers to earn 70% of the subscription amount. This share is going to be the same until the subscription service passes one year.

In fact, Sensor Tower’s report shows that almost 70% of the top 100 grossing iOS apps were subscription-based as of last month. This accounted for 81% of the revenue. 

Apple is making great strides to improvise its services and resolve issues prevalent in the current processes. With the majority of Apple’s services going subscription-based, improvements in the billing process are inevitable.

Bhupinder Kour
Bhupinder Kour
Content Writer
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