On 10/8/11 7:21 AM, Jay Ashworth wrote:
----- Original Message -----
Perhaps I've missed something big...
(Oh: you said "user-friendly")
Yeah. In-app billing is a feature of the Android Market platform and
Ahhhh. While I'm a fairly avid user, I'm not an android developer, and I
hadn't run across that. Interesting.
Checkouts are managed by Google, so no need in
this case to implement
a whole payments backend. Of course that's what the 30% fee is charged
for. The terms state that it's limited to "digital goods" which is the
kind of clause that you could drive a truck through. Looks like some
folks are using it for donations and "selling" thank you messages.
If we do this, we'd want to have a direct
line w/ Google to clarify
that it's OK, and ideally persuade them to waive the fee out of their
love for Wikipedia. :-)
That should be yourself, or someone like you, talking directly to Larry or
Sergey; that's how that sort of thing comes about.
FYI, I worked on Google Checkout back in 2005-2006, mostly
internationalization and identity stuff, but I'm also familiar with how
Google Checkout for Non-Profits works.
Within Checkout, at least when I was working there, Digital Goods are
supposed to be for things like software or in-game item purchases. You
can pervert them to be donations, but that's not really what they are
for, and you are limited to fixed amounts (i.e. you have separate
donation buttons for $5, $10, $20, etc.)
Google Checkout for Non-Profits is designed for donations -- the big
difference is that the donor can specify any amount for the transaction.
(A normal Google Checkout transaction has security guarantees to both
parties that the price the vendor sets is the price that gets paid. This
involves signing the entire transaction; including price. But Checkout
for Non-Profits can use a different verification technique for approved
The other difference, getting your fees down to zero, is nowadays
predicated on getting a Google Grant. There's a standard way to apply,
but I'm sure we could also jump the queue if we pulled some strings.
I'm not sure how this intersects with the Android Market -- the regular
Checkout rate is 2.9%, whereas all these "in-app" purchases seem to have
pretty exorbitant rates. But the same guy was the tech lead for both
Checkout and the Android Market, so if you have specific questions maybe
I can open a channel. Google HATES doing customer service with a
passion, so it can be hard to get answers if you want them to make an
exception for you.
By the way, Aaron Muszalski, one of the new Community Department hires,
was strongly pushing for in-app purchases in a mobile app as a possible
way to get donations. Maybe he's already made some progress there -- I
cc'ed him on this discussion.
Neil Kandalgaonkar |) <neilk(a)wikimedia.org>