You might take your automatic Android app subscriptions for granted, but people in India won’t have them so easily. XDA has learned that Google is suspending signups for auto-renewing subscriptions and free trials after India’s central bank (the Reserve Bank of India) instituted rules requiring an extra layer of authentication for subscriptions and other recurring payments.
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The freeze will take effect in early May and will last until the company addresses “ecosystem challenges,” according to an email that was sent to developers.
You can still subscribe to services, but you’ll have to sign up again at the end of each period. Existing auto-renewing subscriptions aren’t affected, but Google is asking app developers to clarify that users are making one-time purchases only.
The new rules could easily affect other digital services, but they may affect Play Store users more than many.
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Android dominates the Indian mobile landscape, and subscription services are particularly vital as the country faces a new wave of lockdowns prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic — this may have introduced a significant hassle for millions of people hoping to stream tunes or watch a favorite TV series.