Android developers now have another option for issuing refunds to users in cases where determining the validity of a full refund is difficult, such as when that's for an in-app purchase or subscription. That's because Google has now added the ability to parcel out partial refunds for those two types of purchase, with the exception of one or two caveats. The new option was spotted by XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman on June 13 and can only be found on the full website for Google's Play Console. The feature may come to the mobile app at some point in the future but doesn't appear to be available there for the time being. Getting the caveats out of the way, partial refunds can only be applied to in-app purchases or subscriptions that aren't set up via "Subscribe with Google." That means no partial refunds for paid applications. Not every payment method will be supported either and the order needs to have been placed after March 2018.
Issuing a partial refund requires nearly the same process as a full refund with one or two additional steps, so it shouldn't require too much of a learning curve for developers who have completed the process before. After signing in and moving to the "order management" section of the page – located in the left-hand menu – developers simply need to click the orders they want to refund and then "refund." A toggle is available for partial refunds, at the top of the screen. Typing in a percentage or any amount less than the total purchase cost will automatically generate the post-tax refund amount to be given to the user. More than one partial refund can be given but the total amount refunded will be tracked by Google and can't go over the purchase price of the item being refunded. The "Submit" button which developers click to issue the refund will be made unavailable in instances where the total amount would be exceeded.
The partial refund feature could be exceptionally useful for developers since Google thrust responsibility for refunds onto them early last year. In particular, it should help in situations where a full refund would simply not be warranted but where some return to the user is appropriate. For example, the provided tools will be helpful in cases where a user has paid for a subscription and then used the paid service for part or most of a month before canceling it. If that user is demanding a refund, developers will now be able to issue one that is calculated by percentage to match up with the percentage of the month the subscription won't be used for.