Apple Introduces ‘Grace Periods’ For Automatically Cancelled App Subscriptions

Apple is introducing a ‘grace period’ to help app developers keep subscribers if their membership gets involuntarily cancelled due to a billing issue.

Previously, customers would immediately lose access to premium features if they missed a payment, which in turn made it harder for developers to reacquire them.

The new update gives Apple 16 days to try and collect payments on behalf of the developers while the user retains access to subscriber benefits. It will be an opt-in service, with app owners needing to adjust the settings of their products to benefit.

Grace periods have been available on the rival Google Play Store since 2018.

Jacob Eiting, the CEO of subscription startup RevenueCat, told TechCrunch: “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.

“Google’s implementation just works, developers don’t need to write additional code. However, as always, I’m glad to see Apple investing in the subscription experience on iOS. It’s the best way for app developers to monetize and creates much better alignment between developers and users than any other strategy.”

Payments can be declined for a number of reasons, such as expired or disabled bank cards and a change in billing address.

Apple faced pressure to change the algorithms in its App Store recently after it was accused of unfairly promoting its own products ahead of those produced by third-party developers.

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