Google Spurns Chrome Extensions Developers with Deprecation of Web Store Payments API

In January of 2020, Google discovered a wave of fraudulent transactions that were taking place on the Chrome Web Store. As a result of these actions, Google suspended the ability to publish or update any commercial Chrome extensions and later suspended use of the platform’s payment API while their security teams looked for a solution. On Monday Google surprised everyone by announcing the deprecation of the Chrome Web Store API.

The Chrome Web Store API is used by Chrome extensions publishers to allow for them to process subscription payments and one-time fees. By removing access to this API, developers will need to transition to third-party payment services to process these transactions. Sadly, for extension publishers, the hassle of switching payment processors is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is no way for publishers to migrate their userbase to a new payment system, and Google doesn't provide access to user email addresses. This means that developers will have to find a way to notify their users of the change and hope that they sign up again for the same level of service.

Google provided a timeline for the changes:

Developers are now officially on the clock, with January 2021 looming as the time when all payments will be disabled via the API. 

 

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