Apple announced that developers of apps published in the South Korean App Store would no longer need to use its in-app payment system.

Instead, developers can accept payments through Apple's third-party service providers pre approved.

This change is in response to an amendment to South Korea's Telecommunications Business Act last year that prevents platform holders such as Apple and Google from requiring developers to use their in-app payment systems.

Apple and Google opposed this legislation. Apple claimed that it would make it more difficult for users to manage their purchases and undermine privacy protections. Google argued that they were at risk of fraud.

The law also threatens the lucrative commission Apple charges developers to use its app payments system. The so-called Apple tax, which can be as high as 30% of the price users pay, has been the subject of numerous developer complaints over the years.

Although South Korea has forced Apple to allow developers access to alternative payment methods, Apple will still collect a 26% commission for third-party payments.

The documentation states that developers must report every sale to Apple monthly and then pay the commission.

Developers who wish to use third-party payment methods must submit an Apple form to obtain access to the StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement.

This is only available for apps that are distributed in South Korea. Developers will need to submit an additional app binary "that is only available on the App Store in South Korea" if an app is globally available.

Apple also states that alternative payment systems can't be used in the same app as Apple's in-app purchase system. Purchases must be made within the app and not linked to a website view.

These are combined with a strict set of rules that may discourage many app developers from taking advantage of third-party payment systems. Apple's notice states that developers who wish to use Apple's in-app purchase system can do so, and no further action is required.

Apple's in-app payment control is not being removed from South Korea alone. The Authority for Consumers and Markets in the Netherlands has ordered Apple that dating apps, and only dating apps, can use other in-app payment methods.

The ACM accepted Apple's solution as adequate. It was based on a StoreKit External Purchase Entitlement similar to the one the company is launching in South Korea.

The biggest challenges for Apple's control of app distribution and in-app payments are still to come. The Digital Markets Act (DMA), a European Union law, will require Apple to install third-party apps and allow App Store developers access to alternative payment systems.

In the US, an American judge ruled that Apple must allow in-app purchases in other ways, but the appeal was denied.