(Update: We revised the way we explain Fortumo from “premium SMS aggregator” to “mobile payments company”.)
For a long time, app developers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand have been annoyed because they can’t sell anything on Google Play, the official Android app store. But that has just changed as of yesterday with Google announcing that developers in the four countries can now sign up as merchants through the Google Play Developer Console.
Previously, developers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand could only sell their Android apps by working with third parties like telcos and mobile payments companies like Fortumo. So even when these developers can publish their apps on Google Play, they were not able to charge for premium nor in app purchases inside. Plus, Fortumo and telcos take a big slice of revenues.
The Google Play Stores in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand now show the app prices in localized currencies. Previously they were displayed in US dollars. The announcement was sent through emails to developers. Here is the full email from Google (thanks to Fandry Iy for this!):
We’re writing to let you know that we will be introducing Google Wallet Merchant registration availability for Google Play Developers in additional countries. Beginning Feb 6 2014, developers from Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Thailand will be able to sign up as merchants through the Google Play Developer Console.
To get started with Google Wallet Merchant registration:
Visit your profile page on the Google Play Developer Console at https://play.google.com/apps/publish/#ProfilePlace
Under the Merchant Account heading, click the ‘Set up a merchant account now’ link
Registered Merchants from these countries will receive payouts from Google via wire transfer of USD. For more information about receiving payouts via wire transfer, please visit the Google Play Android Developer Help Center:
If you have previously associated a Google Wallet Merchant account from another country with your Google Play Developer account, you will be required to create a new Google Play Developer account in order to register as a merchant in any of these additional countries.
Thank you for your continued support of Google Play.
The Google Play Team
(c)2014 Google Inc.
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(Editing by Steven Millward)