One of the (numerous) problems with the Android Market has been its billing system - up to now, buyers were charged in the seller's currency. While most credit card companies were smart enough to convert the bill to the buyer's coinage, others flat out cancelled the payment. No longer - Google just announced Buyer's Currency, which gives developers the ability to set their apps' prices in each of the currencies available in the Market.

wm_2-10-2011 3-29-52 PM

In other words, you can have your app sell for $5 in the US and £3.70 in the UK; previously, if the buyer was in the US and the app's price was in euros, the buyer would be charged in euros, and converting the fee to dollars was left up to credit card companies. 

Buyer's Currency is now available to US merchants, and Google encourages all devs to set the prices asap - if you don't do so by February 23th, they will automatically convert your price. The key difference between this automatic conversion and what was happening before Buyer's Currency is that the Market will now convert the price before charging your credit card (as opposed to vice versa, which was the old model).   

I think Buyer's Currency could be a great step forward for the Market - what say you, developers?

Full email sent to all registered developers:

We're writing to inform you and other US-based Merchants of a change to Android Market that requires your attention.
1. Android Market is changing to a new model for pricing applications called “Buyer’s Currency.” The change directly affects how you price your apps, as well as how users around the world purchase them. Action is required on your part.
2. In the new Buyer’s Currency model, you are responsible for setting the prices for your apps in each of the currencies available on Android Market. Users will see the prices of your apps in their own currencies and, when they purchase, pay in their own currencies. As part of the transaction, Android Market converts the payment to your home currency, based on a daily exchange rate.
Developers and users worldwide will move to the Buyer’s Currency model over the next few months.
3. Buyer’s Currency is available to you now. Please visit the Android Market Developer Console as soon as possible and set prices for your products in all available currencies by February 23, 2011.
IMPORTANT  On February 23, 2011, Android Market will automatically assign Buyer’s Currency prices for your products if you have not manually set prices in the Developer Console. Android Market assigns a price based on the price of your app in your home currency, converted to each target currency using the exchange rate on February 23, 2011. If you manually set your per-currency prices, Android Market will not override them. This is a one-time conversion associated with the transition to the new Buyer’s Currency model.
4. You can continue to set and adjust the prices of your apps in your home currency and in any Buyer’s Currency available, at any time.
For more information about how Buyer’s Currency works, please visit the Android Market Help Center:
Thank you once again for your continued support of Android Market.

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • http://nihondroid.blogspot.com Chokkan

    This is pretty good news.

    Not to be an ass, but the UK uses £ not €.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      Thanks for the correction - for some reason, I always get the two symbols mixed up. :S
      Fixed it, anyhow.

  • http://androidpolice.com Abhiroop Basu

    I'm curious as to how the iOS model works. I really wish there was an easier payment system. For example, using PayPal or something like that. I hate seeing 10 x 0.99c worth of app purchases in my credit card bill every month.

  • Ed

    Does this mean that a buyer, by using an app like Market Access, will be able to choose the currency that would give the best price after conversion to the buyer's native currency?

    • Coldman

      Possibly. This means that it won't be your credit card doing the conversion but Google for you and then charging the card in its native currency.

  • http://blog.mobosquare.com Inman

    absolutely good news

  • Beem

    Still waiting for paid app in market in Thailand. Google so slow.

  • Mike Lothian

    Why have I got an awful feeling this could be used to rip us Brits off - will google have anything in place to stop folk artificially inflating the prices in specific countries?

  • Peter

    Only a matter of time before some website is created to show us who is over charging customers. Fingers crossed nobody decides to use Apple currency exchange rates.

  • Rajni

    Indian developers cannot sell :(

  • NikolayS

    What's up with these crossed out countries in the screenshot? I see Bulgaria and I know that I can't buy paid apps.

  • abee

    I just needed to click "Auto Fill" and save.
    BAM! I'm done

    I wish taxes were this ez

  • Aussie

    I too am interested to see how this pans out. In Australia we have had the apple rip off ..I mean conversion rates that don't match US prices (we are now nearly dollar for dollar) which forces us to buy direct from overseas which can work out substantially cheaper. Leave the conversion to pay pal and the card companies otherwise developer greed can set in.

  • OFI

    About time too. Many in the UK get charged for the currency conversion and the cost is more than many apps..

  • SomeDevRandom

    Well this is bullshit, the feature just was available today in my country and I set the price in $ but the price in $ is still estimated and customers are complaining about payments being declined.

    What gives , how long does it take to have effect? Dont tell me I have to wait till the 31 March although I set up the price already. That is 1 month of 100s of Dollars lost of revenue.
    Do you guys in Europe have the same problem that your price is not being updated on the Market?