We offer a free app with IAP. The IAP is a means to purchase curreny for our app, which then you can use have some benefits in our game. Those credits are stored in our database and not somewhere on google or apple servers. We use the IAP mechanism just for billing.
We are offering our app in a country where not everybody has his Google Play / Apple App Store associated with a credit card and not everybody uses a bank account. So a lot of our users emailed ous asking us, if they could obtain in app credits from in a different way. e.g. PayPal from our Website, sending cash in mail.
So what are the guidelines selling in app credits for an app outside of the app stores?
We developed two plans, please let me know if any of them would be possible and follow the google and apple guidelines. Both of the plans do not trigger any IAP mechanism, so in no way Apple or Google would even know what we are doing without checking our website.
User goes to our website, buys a promo code for e.g. 500 credits.
Opens the app and triggers a menu item specifically to redeem those codes.
Upon inserting the code, he gets credited with the credits.
The good thing about it would be, that ppl could buy codes and give them to other ppl or we could issue free promo codes over our facebook account.
User goes to our website, upon providing his account details, he pays for the credits which would be immediately credited to his account.
Would any of these plans be against apple/google guidelines? What could we do different to honor the guidelines and not get our app banned?
We also plan to develop a Facebook/Web App, so buying credits should not be limited to app store apps anyway.
Thanks in advance
The guidelines are very clean about this. Probably Apple does not notice that you have your own purchase system, but are you willing to base your business on a risk that one day you app will be removed from the App Store?
11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In-App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an App will be rejected