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.

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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.