In-App Purchases Integration

For Apple App Store, Google Play & Amazon App Store

billwerk offers a direct integration with Apple, Amazon, and Google In-App Purchase. This makes it possible to carry subscriptions in billwerk that were concluded via your Apple App (iOS), Amazon App, or Google App. Contract changes in Apple, Amazon, and Google are also taken into account in billwerk.  This gives you the opportunity to control the Subscription Management for these contracts holistically via billwerk.

In this way, you also keep a central overview of the KPIs and reports for the end customer subscriptions concluded in the marketplaces.

This feature is available for an additional charge and must be activated for the billwerk productive account. Please feel free to contact our support.

You can find more information in our developer documentation.

More information about In App Purchases

With in-app-purchases you can expand your target group and simplify access to your subscription offers for mobile users, which can have a lasting positive effect on the conversion rate and thus on sales.

Attract new target groups

With In-App Purchases you can expand your target group and reach more customers for your subscriptions.

Increase conversion & revenue

In-App Purchases can act as a boost to your conversion rate and consequently to your sales.

Flexibility & convenience

In-App Purchases = one-stop shop convenience without platform or media changes for your customers.

High potential

In-App Purchases are essential for providers of mobile applications (apps) for media and SaaS services as well as gaming.

Subscription Management & Recurring Billing with billwerk

billwerk is the Subscription Management & Recurring Billing software for your subscription business. 

More about In-App Purchases

What are In-App Purchases?

Products or services that can be purchased using an app are known as in-app purchases. Depending on the offer, either a one-time payment or recurring payments are due. Subscriptions can also be offered via In-App Purchase.

In-App Purchases became known primarily in the gaming sector. For example, certain game content or improvements could be unlocked via purchases within the app itself. In this area, however, In-App Purchases sometimes also gained the reputation of being a cost trap. Many children and young people drove up their mobile phone bills in this way. But this can be controlled by settings in the user account.

Today, the function is not only used by game manufacturers. Many more companies in various industries have recognized the potential and reach of this tool and use it to reach more target groups with their offerings.

How do In-App Purchases work?

In-App Purchases are processed with the help of app stores. Users can therefore make their purchases in the respective Google, Apple, or Amazon store, for example. A payment method is stored in the customer account of the app store. Payment can then be made, for example, so that the amount is billed in the mobile phone bill. However, PayPal, credit cards, existing credit or vouchers can also be used as payment methods. Billing information can be viewed directly in the App Store. Recurring billing is also possible directly via the App Store.

For which devices are In-App Purchases possible?

In-App Purchases are possible for both the Android and Apple operating systems. For example, the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store can be used to make in-app purchases. Basically, In-App Purchase is possible for all smartphone users.

What are the types of In-App Purchases?

Various terms are used in the context of In-App Purchases:

  • Subscriptions
  • Non-expendable purchases
  • Consumable purchases

Subscriptions involve the use of certain services or features over a period of time. Subscriptions can be offered weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually. The term recurring billing often comes up in this context. This means that the same amount is debited on a regular basis. Depending on the contract, the subscription may be limited to a certain period of time, or it may be automatically renewed if the user does not cancel beforehand.

In the case of non-expendable purchases, the product or service is purchased once and can also be transferred to other devices. In some cases, it is even possible for multiple users to access it. This type of In-App Purchase is known, for example, for premium versions of a program. But services, such as switching off advertising, can also be used in this way. It is also possible to purchase additional content. In gaming, this is known by the purchase of further game elements. For example, game manufacturers offer special equipment, champions, mounts or similar additional content for purchase. However, the purchase only has to be made once. For example, if a new smartphone is purchased and a game is reinstalled here, the purchased content remains available.

With expendable purchases, a specific service or content is acquired and can only be used once. Again, the game area provides typical examples: If 1,000 game gold is purchased, the purchase is consumable. The 1,000 gold is used once and cannot be reloaded again and again. If users want gold again, they have to make purchases again.

By the way, numerous apps can be downloaded for free. Often, these apps are ad-financed.

5 Advantages of In-App-Purchases (for Subscription Businesses)

Reach: Smartphones are ubiquitous. A Bitkom survey showed that in Germany alone, 83 percent of all people aged 16 and over will use a smartphone in 2022. It is therefore attractive for companies to consider how they can reach these people. In-App Purchases make it possible for products and services to be quickly available to smartphone users. Subscriptions in particular can attract more customers this way.

Revenue growth: Successful use of In-App Purchases can result in more subscriptions and generate revenue growth. The conversion rate is optimized and often customers are willing to spend more money via app than via “normal purchase” in a web store, for example.

Customer loyalty: Anyone who has made an In-App purchase often repeats this. The mere fact that the smartphone is a constant companion in everyday life and notifications and apps are much more likely to receive attention than, for example, a classic newsletter mailing, significantly strengthens customer loyalty.

Communication: In-app notifications make communication with customers much easier and more direct. This allows companies to provide information about new offers. However, customers can also decide to deactivate the so-called push notifications.

Analysis: In-App Purchases allow companies to evaluate numerous data and key figures. This allows them to better align marketing and plan targeted actions. Modern technologies enable many evaluations to be automated. In this way, analysis is fast, accurate, and effortless.

5 Advantages of In-App Purchases (for consumers)

Customer account: Consumers do not have to register with many different providers, deposit payment methods and maintain a user account: Data is recorded once in the respective app store.

Offer: Consumers can access a diverse range of In-App Purchases. Many services are individual and can also be used over short periods (for example, monthly).

Simple processing: Data and statements can be accessed in the app store. This means customers can keep track at all times and use or cancel additional services.

Customer service: Mobile services are often associated with fast customer service. Anyone with queries can contact the relevant customer service quickly and conveniently via smartphone.

Security: Sensitive data, such as payment methods, are only stored in the respective app store. Consumers can use security mechanisms through the settings. For example, they can deactivate In-App Purchases or set up password protection. These measures can prevent unintentional subscriptions.

In which cases should In-App Purchases be used by Subscription Businesses?

In-App Purchases became known primarily in the gaming sector. But other companies have long since recognized the potential. For example, numerous products and services are also offered as In-App Purchases by the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) , Hosting & Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Media, E-Publishing, E-commerce, Health & Online Fitness, Mobility as a Service, Streaming Media, E-Learning, Industrie 4.0, Smart Services, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Everything-as-a-Service (EaaS).

How quickly certain applications can reach a broad target group was demonstrated, for example, during the Corona pandemic: fitness apps became increasingly popular (especially during lockdown measures). But more and more users are also using their mobile devices in the area of e-learning.

So In-App Purchases can be an interesting option for numerous companies in different industries to offer their subscription services. The key to success here is the overall concept. For example, companies need to be clear about which contract periods they want to offer. In addition, companies must ensure that all processes work. Those who first receive poor ratings in the app stores have to go through an arduous process to gain the trust of (new) customers.

What should be considered when using In-App Purchases?

When using In-App Purchases, attention should be paid to maintaining an overview. Those who sign up for many different subscriptions are often no longer aware of the scope of the costs. To avoid accidentally making a purchase, consumers should look into the settings of the respective app store.

Before using In-App Purchases, customers should also inform themselves about the cancellation modalities. For example, is a subscription automatically renewed if it is not cancelled? Or can the contract term be specified in advance?

If In-App Purchases are processed via common stores, such as Apple, Google or Amazon, consumers can get an overview of their subscriptions and purchases in their user account.

A payment method is stored in the user account. Here, too, consumers should consider which payment method to choose. If credit cards are used for billing, regular checks should be made to see which charges will be made. But even if you are billed via your cell phone bill, you should check promptly to see which additional services have been booked.

What happens when users switch devices?

In-App Purchases are not lost when the device is changed. They are still available. Users should check in the respective app store whether the apps are restored automatically or whether they have to trigger the restore process.

What happens if an In-App Purchase was made by mistake?

Anyone who has accidentally made an In-App Purchase can cancel it again. Attention: In this case, one should react quickly and cancel the purchase in the app store.