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Payment failures in the App Store are a big inconvenience for both users and developers, but soon Apple will allow customers to resolve their issues without leaving the app.
Apple processes payments through in-app purchases, but when a payment doesn't go through, customers often knock on the developer's door. The new system will allow users to get help without leaving the application or disturbing the developer.
According to a developer update published by Apple, the new billing process will be rolled out this summer and will require no action from developers. A system-provided sheet appears in the app if an auto-renewing subscription doesn't renew due to a billing issue.
In the past, when a payment failed and their subscription expired, customers could lose access to certain billing discounts or legacy plans. After that, customers would go to the developer with a complaint, even though payment processing is Apple's problem.
Users must be running iOS 16.4 or later to access this new dialog box option.
Developers can enable new features, such as a billing grace period, to give customers access to subscriptions while billing issues are resolved. Apple will also use machine learning to optimize recurring payments for as many retries as possible.
Users can upgrade to iOS 16.4.1 today. The new payment processing feature will be launched in the summer.