Yesterday during Google I/O 2019, Google announced a new Play Store feature that’s part of the new version of Google Play Billing Library. Called Pending Transactions, TechCrunch reported that the feature offers people different ways to pay for content on the Play Store.
Those in emerging markets tend to stick to free-to-play and ad-supported games and applications partially due to a lack of access to credit. That’s why Google rolled out alternative payment options — carrier billing, UPI in India, and support for eWallets, for example — over the years.
However, Pending Transactions offers another payment option not available until now — cash.
When you’re ready to buy an app or in-app micro-transaction, you can choose to receive a payment code. You then take the code to a nearby store, where you can pay with cash to complete the Play Store transaction.
The good news is that you should receive your purchase and an email with proof of payment within 10 minutes. However, the fine print shows that the purchase and email can take up to 48 hours to show up.
Also, you get Play Store credit instead of cash back if you ask for a refund.
With Pending Transactions, the hope is that free users in emerging markets eventually become paying ones. After all, cash-based transactions are still preferred in those regions.
Pending Transactions is currently live in Mexico and Japan, where the feature only works for paid apps. Google will enable Pending Transactions for in-app micro-transactions sometime after, with the feature likely making its way to other countries down the line.