In a move that’ll benefit subscription users, Apple recently added a grace period for paying subscription service bills. Earlier, users would have their access to a subscription service immediately revoked if there was trouble in collecting payment. If there was an issue with a user’s credit card or other payment method, this would cause them to lose out on access, a major inconvenience.
Apple has not clarified what the exact duration of the grace period is. However, they mentioned that users will have continued access to their subscription services for a “period of time.” During this time, Apple will attempt to collect the payment and send them reminders.
Grace Period Benefits Users, Developers, and Apple
Introducing a grace period for subscription services is a much-needed change. These days, more and more apps are moving to a subscription service model. With that in mind, it’s important to ensure continued, uninterrupted access to services. Otherwise, if there’s an issue with, say, the payment gateway, users might end up locked out of many of the services they use.
While Apple subscription services now support a grace period by default, third party developers have to opt-in to the grace period feature. We expect prominent subscription services like Spotify to jump onboard the grace period train soon.
Apple themselves have been encouraging developers to move to the subscription model. This is an approach that benefits everyone. Users get access to premium services at a low monthly rate, instead of paying a large upfront cost. Developers get a consistently, revenue stream.
This is better in the long-term than settling for a single lump-sum payment. And because the monthly subscription amount tends to be low, it would attract a wider range of users than expensive, premium apps. Apple stands to benefit, too, since they get a cut on the subscriptions.
Apple made changes to how you handle App Store subscriptions with easy-to-use shortcut functionality. This is a move that pushed subscriptions to the mainstream from the consumer’s perspective. Now, the grace period feature makes subscription services even more enticing.
All in all, we see this as a good move. Grace periods give customers more flexibility. Also, they mean that users aren’t locked out of services for no fault of their own.