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Developer
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook
My Carrier: Bell

In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

So I'm reviewing the App World Vendor agreement to try and find the answer to this question, but I'm not seeing it.

 

Here's an example of what I'm trying to do:

Let's pretend my app is an e-book reader. It does some analytics, and figures out what kinds of books you like, who your favourite authors are, etc. From time to time, it makes suggestions for new books for you to buy and read. You can click on the suggestion and be taken to a page on Amazon (with my affiliate code) to buy the book, download it to your device, and then open it in my app. Technically, since you purchased it on Amazon, you can access that book anywhere you want now. All my app has done is given you a link to a suggestion, I made some money when you bought it, and then you download it to whatever device you want, usually the one you're currently using.

 

To me, this sounds a lot like an in-app purchase. However, it is happening outside of the app. Not only do I not want to use the BlackBerry Payment Service, I really can't. I'm not going to keep an entire book catalog on App World for you to download.

 

Am I forced to use it? Would this count as an in-app purchase? Or as secondary revenue? Also, with the BlackBerry 10 clauses, what happens then?

 

Would like some clarification on this. Thank you.


Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

I would say that this is not an in-app purchase. This is no different you you bought something directly from the Amazon website and then downloaded it to your device. In-app purchases are for assets (eg game levels) that you want to charge for. It is tied to the BBID. A purchase from Amazon is not tied to the user's BBID but to their Amazon account.

$0.02
Developer
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook
My Carrier: Bell

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

John, I would be in complete agreement with you. The app merely facilitates the purchase of digital goods, makes a small percentage from the actual seller, and allows the user to use that digital good immediately on their device. BlackBerry Platform Services are not used nor involved. The user does not have to use my app to make use of the digital good they purchased, it's available in any app and on any device. Moreover, they don't need to use my app to make that purchase, they can purchase it themselves wherever they like. It is similar to how Kobo Reader works on the PlayBook.

However, I was hoping for clarification due to my recent troubles with RIM vendor policies. Moreover, with the changes being incorporated for BlackBerry 10 (i.e. no competitors to App World, and being forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services) I was hoping for clarification in that regard too. What may be allowed today, may not be tomorrow.

Thanks.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

You will probbly need to ask a RIM person directly. It is not like you are trying to distribute your app from outside of App World, just access to the content. Personally, I think you are OK. Can you come up with a scenario that would allow App World in-app purchases to even work in this scenario? In-app purchases are static in price, where I have to assume the Amazon prices are not. Plus to go from user -> BBID -> App World -> Amazon, I do not think is even possible.
Developer
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook
My Carrier: Bell

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

Again, completely agree with everything you've said. I'm hoping for some kind of official answer, and I thought this would be a good place to start. Not sure where else to turn.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook
My Carrier: Bell

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

Going to bump this in hopes of more eyes seeing this. 

 

On twitter, @BlackberryDev (MSohm I think) said they would look at it. I assume they're discussing a response now. 


Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
Is there a helpful or useful post in this thread? Click the thumbs up on it so that other people can find it more easily!
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Developer
Posts: 304
Registered: ‎08-01-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: In-app purchases - forced to use BlackBerry Payment Services?

Well, technically you are just providing in-app advertisements. And as far as I know, you do not need to pay RIM a share in your advertisement income.

The only issue here is that you are yourself the publisher and the advertiser. To avoid this, you can ask someone else to publish the app and have an agreement with them that they will only use your Ad SDK (that uses your amazon affiliate code) in exchange for a fixed upfront price.