Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking several initiatives to create a safer online shopping environment. Users must now approve one-time subscriptions to prevent recurring subscriptions from being automatically charged. Google is allegedly trying to save from future legal actions by sending email notifications to developers informing them to suspend free trials for their apps on the Play store in India.
This year, the official notification of the Framework for processing e-mandates for recurring online transactions was put in place with a deadline of March 31, 2021, to facilitate the transition. After a few stakeholders requested its extension, RBI extends the deadline to September 30, 2021. As of now, Play Store will not let you sign-up for auto-renewing subscriptions to take advantage of the free trials or early access pricing for subscriptions.
Google has also advised app developers to create in-app notification systems to inform users about expiring subscriptions. There is no effect on these subscriptions offered for a specific time. For example, if you get a three-month subscription at the Play Store, you can use the services during that time frame.
So far, free trials continue to be available on the Play Store. We expect the changes will take effect in early May, but feel free to comment below if you see them before us.