- Google Play app store will start letting people pay for apps with cash, according to an announcement at the company's annual I/O developers conference.
- Mobile users who choose to pay with cash will be shown a payment code that lets them make payments at a nearby store equipped to handle transactions. Those users will receive their purchase within 10 minutes, along with a receipt sent by email, TechCrunch reported.
- The receipt may take up to 48 hours to arrive, and people who seek refunds will get Play Store credits instead of cash, per Android Central.
Google aims to expand the market for its apps, with the move to accept cash having the potential to give mobile marketers, including app developers, a much bigger audience in emerging markets where consumer access to credit is limited.
Google's Android mobile operating system runs about 75% of the world’s smartphones, and is especially popular in developing markets where consumers have less spending power and conduct most of their transactions with cash rather than credit or debit accounts. Over the years, Google has expanded its payment options to include carrier billing in many regions, but millions of consumers still depend on cash for day-to-day transactions.
Bringing more consumers into the market is positive for app developers, and likely will ignite even higher growth for Google Play. Google Play revenue grew 20% to about $7.1 billion in Q1 2019 from a year earlier, per app analytics firm Sensor Tower. First-time app installs from Google Play jumped 19% to 20.7 billion during the period, creating an enormous opportunity to monetize those apps with cash payments.
Spending in mobile apps on Google Play will rise 19% a year to $60 billion 2023, Sensor Tower estimated. Latin America will show the most growth for Google Play, rising 408% to $2.8 billion by 2023, followed by Africa’s 406% growth to $430 million. That means marketers and app developers need to be prepared with localized versions of apps in different languages to appeal to a wider group of cultures. Sensor Tower published its estimate before Google announced the expanded payment options for Google Play.