Marketplaces · Mobile payments

Mobile app marketplace payments organization

Valentin Saulyak

Last updated on April 26th, 2019

I am working on mobile application. It should work as marketplace - authors upload content and consumers pay for it.

I am woundering how to implement payments for android/ios.

From information I found:

  • Apple don't allow payment methods other then in app purchases. It seems to me I should upload somehow all the content to some appstore place and sell it through the in app purchases mechanism.
    • What should I do if I have thousand or million items? Upload them manually?
    • What should I do if some customer decides to change content's price or remove content?
  • Android platform seems similar. Should I upload all the content to google play and then sell it?
  • If there are alternative payment methods, are they comfortable for the users? I mean is it common to pay for in app purchase with apple/android pay or braintree service (I can't use stripe as I am out of US).


Ideally payments should be as in Uber - consumers pay Uber, uber pays drivers. Could someone advice how to achieve it?


UPD for Paul Garcia:

App development should only be considered if you absolutely need access to hardware features of a device.

Content is geo-related. According my plan consumers use it in special locations. That's why I am building mobile app. That's why I am looking for simple purchase tool for my customers.

Know that if you are expecting a high volume of transactions you CANNOT just turn on sales from day one and process hundreds of individual transactions.

I don't expect high volume of transactions one day. I expect transactions growth with amount of authors and consumers growth.

Thanks for your answer. My question is more related to the existing purchase methods/practices and App Store/Playmarket limitations rather then general project organization aspects.


UPD2: Here is recent discussion on Apple developers forum https://forums.developer.apple.com/thread/114537

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

April 25th, 2019

Why an app? Why not a web site? App development should only be considered if you absolutely need access to hardware features of a device. Nothing about the product you described should require device access. If like so many other marketplaces you have user logins, the user can store payment information (credit card). If you're trying to use other digital currency (ApplePay for example), then you're limited to the rules of the currency handler.


Know that if you are expecting a high volume of transactions you CANNOT just turn on sales from day one and process hundreds of individual transactions. Every payment account requires a warm-up period where the processors determine that your business is legitimate, that you don't have a large number of chargebacks, that you are following rules, that your bank isn't upset with you, etc. It takes months to ramp up with your payment processor.


This one should probably consultation with a CPA or attorney. Uncontrolled marketplaces need to be careful not to enable money laundering.


I have more significant questions about the product itself, but you didnt' ask for that kind of analysis. To me it sounds like you're still in the idea stage. I'm going to suggest that you stop all development and test your assumptions about your product before you write one more line of code. I have strong concerns about the viability of your marketplace considering this very basic question you're asking. You don't even know how your customers prefer to pay.

Jason Taylor Executive Director at Total-Apps Inc.

April 26th, 2019

Major marketplaces such as ebay etc. do NOT pay the apple tax. (ie payment method). My recommendation is for each of your sellers IE users to have their own submerchant account and then that is tied into their account to accept payments. Mojo Pay can accomplish this but only USD and US based customers. Also it will depend on the product or service you are selling. Apps that offer in app purchases do pay the fee and have to utilize the Apple pay payment mechanism.

Lorenzo Zamorano Project Manager

July 28th, 2019

Hi Valentin,


Thanks for your answer. My question is more related to the existing purchase methods/practices and App Store/Playmarket limitations rather then general project organization aspects:


You can sell products inside your application. There is no problem or limitation there. Amazon for example.


Regarding your second question, the term you are looking for is Marketplace Payment Provider. You collect say 100$, 20$ goes to you, 80$ to the other person. Yandex has this, Also PayU and many others ( https://checkout.yandex.com/tailored-solutions )


If you are going to use maps, be careful with the google maps licensing cost. You will need to pay after approximately 100 users per day. Be sure you plan for it as this can be expensive