Google Play Customers Can Now Buy Using PayPal

Google Play will now accept PayPal payments from users for apps and digital content, but not for physical goods. Other payment options are also being expanded.

Google Play customers who want to buy apps and digital content through the online store can now use PayPal to pay for their online purchases, giving them yet another option for faster, easier payments for the content they want to get onto their devices.

The new PayPal payment option was announced by Ibrahim Elbouchikhi, the Google Play product manager, in a May 15 post on the Android Developers Blog. The PayPal option cannot be used to buy physical merchandise through the Play store, according to the post.

"Sales of apps and games on Google Play are up by more than 300 percent over the past year," wrote Elbouchikhi. "And today, two-thirds of Google Play purchases happen outside of the United States, with international sales continuing to climb. We're hoping to fuel this momentum by making Google Play payments easier and more convenient for people around the world."

That's where the PayPal support comes in, he wrote. The new capability will only be available to customers in 12 countries to start, and it will supplement other existing options, including credit card and debit card payments. The countries where the PayPal service is being implemented are Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United States and the United Kingdom, according to Google.

"When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, you'll find PayPal as an option in your Google Wallet; just enter your PayPal account login and you'll easily be able to make purchases," wrote Elbouchikhi. "Our goal is to provide users with a frictionless payment experience, and this new integration is another example of how we work with partners from across the payments industry to deliver this to the user."

Also being expanded as a payment option in the Google Play store is "carrier billing," which lets buyers charge purchases in Google Play directly to their phone bill, according to Elbouchikhi. "We've just expanded coverage to seven more countries for a total of 24, including Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan. That means almost half of all Google Play users have this option when making their purchases."

Another expanded Play store payment option being unveiled is support for Google Play gift cards in 13 countries, including Japan and Germany, he wrote.

App developers in 13 additional countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey, will also now be able to sell their apps on Google Play, bringing the total to 45 countries with support for local developers, wrote Elbouchikhi. "We've also increased our buyer currency support to 28 new countries, making it even easier for you to tailor your pricing in 60 countries."

Google Play was created in March 2012 to combine what until then were separate sites where Android lovers could buy their favorite apps, music and ebooks. Before Google Play, users had to shop through the individual Android Market, Google Music and the Google e-Bookstore sites.

Earlier in May, Google unveiled its latest Google Play services application, giving app developers new features that they can include in their products, including in-app Street View imagery capabilities and the ability for apps to recognize the activities of users. The new Google Play services 4.4 version includes the first-time introduction of Street View to the Google Maps Android API, which will allow developers to embed Street View imagery into activities.