Google has announced that they have added merchant account support for twelve more countries which will allow developers in those countries to sell apps, as well as offer in-app purchases. Developers in these countries had previously been allowed to develop applications for the Google Play store, however, they were not allowed to sell the applications or offer in-app purchases. Until now, these developers could only apply for the basic developer registration, which only allows a developer to offer their application for free and does not allow the developer to sell in-app purchases. They are still able to make money via advertisements if advertisements are available in their market.
In order for a developer to sell applications on the Google Play Store, a developer must apply for a Merchant account. In order for this to happen, a developer must live in a country that has made agreements with Google concerning taxes or other country specific fees. The developer must also meet other requirements as set forth by Google. The money paid to the developer in these countries will also be paid in their current countries currency. This option is now open to developers in the following countries: Bahrain, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Honduras, Jamaica, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Panama.
This brings the total number of developers in countries that are allowed to upload paid applications or applications that have in-app purchases to a total of seventy-four. In all, there are 152 countries on Google Play’s registration list. That means just shy of one-half of all countries that Google Play developer accounts are allowed are able to sell applications or have in-app purchases. This means the other half must find other means to fund their applications.
This is great news for developers in these twelve countries. They will no longer have to figure out new or different revenue streams, or use advertising to make money on their hard work. It will also allow them the ability to offer paid applications in their native country that are specific to their area. There was no mention as to if other countries could be expected soon, or how much progress has been made with the remaining governments to allow Google to offer merchant accounts to developers. Hopefully there will come a day soon when developers in all countries will be able to make money on their hard work. For now, it looks like they will have to rely on advertising or other means to make money from their applications.