Mobile Subscriptions 

The increased adoption of mobile devices and improved internet coverage continues to fuel the growth of businesses embracing online marketplaces via the web and more recently mobile applications. This strategy enables businesses to maintain a presence across multiple platforms and drive growth by catering to a global customer base.

The increasing popularity of mobile apps has led to the discovery of a new customer base and offers a revenue stream with immense potential. However, these apps are hosted on an online marketplace platform and currently requires that manage the complete subscription cycle exclusively on their platforms leading to fragmented silos.

While you do have standalone solutions to manage your in-app purchases and recurring billing, these can hardly match the complexities associated with businesses hosted on multiple platforms. To mitigate these complexities, you require a solution that helps manage your business effectively and also offers feature capabilities that help you scale your business too.

Chargebee's Mobile Subscriptions feature is designed to unify the subscription management data into Chargebee by allowing you to connect your mobile app businesses with your Chargebee site. This solution empowers you with the following benefits:

  • Track subscription data across multiple platforms: Our integration solution offers you a 'single source of truth' via a dashboard for all your subscription data across platforms.

  • Keep in-app subscription data in sync and updated: As subscription events occur in the mobile app stores, they will be synced over to your Chargebee site.

  • Comprehensive Business Analytics: The fragmented revenue data across multiple platforms makes analysis cumbersome and error-prone. Our consolidated approach to subscription data across platforms helps you create a revenue story that is accurate and insightful.

Apple iOS and Google Android in Chargebee's Marketplace 

Integrate your Apple and Google apps with Chargebee by accessing mobile app stores in the marketplace .

What do you need to know? 

The following are the key points that will help you understand Apple App Store and Google Play Store integrations in Chargebee.

It is recommended to go through these points before setting up the integration.

About Integration 

The following are the points to know about Apple App Store and Google Play Store integration in general.

  • Both Apple App Store and Google Play Store integrations are supported for Product Catalog 1.0 (PC 1.0) and Product Catalog 2.0 (PC 2.0) accounts in Chargebee. Therefore, irrespective of your account type you can integrate these stores into Chargebee.
  • We generate a webhook or notifications URL once the integration is completed and this needs to be configured in the respective stores for Chargebee to receive notifications from these stores. This notification URL can be obtained by referring to the documentation on Apple App Store  and Google Play Store .
  • Post integration, you need to either use Chargebee's SDK(iOS , Android , or Flutter ) or Process Purchase Command  API to create an initial in-app subscription in Chargebee.
    Note: Chargebee cannot create an initial subscription by receiving notification from these stores due to the lack of information on the price and currency of purchase.
  • To use SDK or API you need an App ID or SDK key(Apple App Store  or Google Play Store ) and a Publishable Key .
  • We recommend using Chargebee's SDK for quick integration at the client end without implementing server APIs. In-app subscriptions are supported by Chargebee's iOS , Android , or Flutter  SDKs.
  • Apple and Google do not pass the Apple Id and Google Id or any other information about the customer to your application or Chargebee. We recommend passing the Customer Id while invoking the API / purchaseProduct method of SDK, though it is an optional parameter. If you don't pass this parameter, then the Customer Id in Chargebee will be the same as the Subscription Id.
  • If the initial subscription is not created using SDK or Process Purchase Command API and the notifications URL is configured for the respective stores, then Chargebee does not process these notifications and returns an error - "Failed to update subscription because it's missing in Chargebee. Import subscription data, and try again."
    To resolve this error you can import the subscription data by using the Import Receipt  API. Once the initial subscription is recorded in Chargebee you can retry processing the failed notification.
  • Once the initial subscription is created in Chargebee, we use webhook events from Apple App Store or Google Play Store and maintain the subscription status in Chargebee.
  • In the Chargebee user interface, apply the Channel filter and select APP STORE or PLAY STORE to view store-specific data. This filter can be applied to pages - Customers, Subscriptions, Plans, and Invoices in Chargebee.

About Apple App Store and Google Play Store Plans 

Apple App Store or Google Play Store refers to subscription plans as in-app subscription products within their documentation. So both terms plans and products are used in this section.

The following are the points to know about Apple App Store and Google Play Store plans or products.

  • Apple or Google products cannot be created using the Chargebee admin user interface. You need to import products from their respective stores to Chargebee. Learn more about importing Apple  and Google  products.
  • While importing products, please ensure that products corresponding to all the currencies configured in the stores are imported to Chargebee.
  • Importing Apple or Google products is only needed if you want to import historic subscriptions from these stores to Chargebee or use the retrieveProductIdentifers SDK method to retrieve Apple  or Google  product IDs from Chargebee.
  • Suppose you are using the Process Purchase Command  API or purchaseProduct SDK method(Apple  / Google ) to create in-app subscriptions in Chargebee without importing Apple or Google products. In such a case, plans are going to auto-create in Chargebee with the price and currency information available with the API or SDK method.
  • Suppose you have a trial period associated with an in-app subscription product in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store then you don't need to import the same. When an in-app subscription is created in Chargebee, we automatically associate the trial period with the plan and subscription created in Chargebee.
  • Suppose you are on Product Catalog 1.0 (PC 1.0) and have imported the products from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; then Chargebee will auto-create the plans. The plan ID will be created by appending the currency code to the related product ID of the Apple or Google store.
  • Suppose you are on Product Catalog 2.0 (PC 2.0) and have imported the products from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store then Chargebee will auto-create the product family as ‘Apple-App-store' or ‘Google-Play-store' and create plans within these product families for the imported products. The plan ID in Chargebee will be the same as the product ID of the Apple APP Store or Google Play Store and the plan price point ID will be created by appending the currency code to the related plan ID. All these plans will be associated with the channel - APP STORE or PLAY STORE.
  • Any changes done to the plans in Chargebee will not reflect in Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Therefore, if you want to change in-app subscription plans then make changes to respective in-app subscription products in Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Suppose you have made changes to in-app subscription product details like price-point or subscription duration of a product in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. In such a case, you can either edit the related plan in Chargebee using the admin user interface or import(Apple  / Google ) the same plan again to reflect the changes in Chargebee.
  • Suppose the price-point of an in-app subscription product is changed in Apple App Store or Google Play Store and by chance you missed changing the same in Chargebee. In such a case, Chargebee will override the plan price and create new subscriptions with the updated price-point of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Renewals for these new subscriptions will happen as per the new price point but existing subscriptions will renew as per the old price-point.
  • Suppose the price point of a product is changed in Apple App Store or Google Play Store and if the same change is done in Chargebee plan as well, then new subscriptions as well as the renewals for existing subscriptions will occur as per the new price-point of the plan.

What are the Limitations? 

The following are limitations for integrating the Apple App Store or Google Play Store with Chargebee.

  • Chargebee does not support multiple apps integration to a single Chargebee site using the admin user interface though this is possible using backend measures. If you have such requirements please reach out to support .

  • Apple App Store or Google Play Store integrations cannot be enabled for your Chargebee site if the Multi Business Entity  feature is enabled for the same.

  • A subscription product or plan configured in Apple App Store or Google Play Store is available for all regions by default. So the same subscription product can be available with different price-points but the same currency for two or more regions. In Chargebee, plans are not created based on the region, you'll be able to import the plan with only one price per currency. However, this will not impact subscriptions because we will override the plan's price while creating a subscription, thus subscription will be created based on the price that is relevant for the region.
    For example, consider Apple App Store's plan price in

    • United States region = $9.99 USD
    • Albania and Belarus region = $11.99 USD

    Now you can either import the plan to Chargebee with a $9.99 or an $11.99 USD price. Assume you have imported a plan with a $9.99 USD price to Chargebee. Now when a subscriber is from the United States region then the subscription will be created at a $9.99 USD price and if the subscriber is from Albania or Belarus region then the subscription will be created at an $11.99 USD price and both these subscriptions will be associated with the $9.99 price plan.

  • In the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, there is a provision to associate free trials, introductory offers, promotional offers, and coupon codes for subscription products. Currently, Chargebee only supports the free trial period with subscriptions in Chargebee. Therefore, we recommend refraining from associating in-app subscriptions with an introductory offer, promotional offer, or coupon code to Chargebee, as this will result in erroneous requests.

  • Currently, Chargebee only supports in-app subscriptions. Therefore, if you have configured one-time purchase plans in stores like consumable, non-consumable, and non-renewing subscription products then these purchases cannot be synced to Chargebee.

  • Our SDKs are available for iOS , Android , and Flutter  platforms if you are planning to use client SDKs for integration. Currently, we don't support in-app subscriptions on our React Native solution. So if your app is built on React Native or any other platform then either you need to write a wrapper around our Native SDKs or use Process Purchase Command  API to create in-app subscriptions in Chargebee.

  • You will not be able to import Apple App Store and Google Play Store plans from the Chargebee admin user interface if your Chargebee site is integrated with tax software like Avalara or Taxjar. In such a case, to import your store plans, reach out to support .

  • Since Apple App Store and Google Play Store generate invoices for your customers directly and don't share the invoice copy with us, we generate read-only invoices in Chargebee based on the total amount that was paid by your customer. You cannot download or email these invoices to your customers.

  • For any successful subscription to Apple App Store or Google Play Store, Chargebee gets a receipt that has only the total payment information. Since these receipts don't have information on the commission percentage charged by the store and the tax deduction amount, we report the total amount paid by your customer in the Invoices  and RevenueStory .

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