Apple teases new API to let developers offer refunds, subscription cancellations

Apple Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Banner
Apple Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Banner (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is holding its WWDC 2021 event this week.
  • An upcoming developer session could point to big changes coming to iOS for developers and users.
  • It appears Apple is preparing to introduce an API that will let developers offer refunds and subscription cancellations.

Apple may be preparing to let developers offer users of iOS apply for refunds and subscription cancellations within apps, according to an upcoming WWDC 2021 session.

The support customers and handle refunds overview states:

Great customer support is critical to running a successful business on the App Store. Discover how you can provide a frictionless support experience to customers who make in-app purchases, including APIs that make it easy for customers to manage or cancel their auto-renewable subscription, or request refunds from directly within your app. We'll cover best practices for handling refunds, as well as additional APIs that can help you better support your customers.

As noted by one developer this would be a big shift in Apple's App Store policy:

Another developer noted that Apple has also updated its human interface guide with a new native UI for requesting refunds:

The guide states:

Make it easy for people to request a refund. Although your purchase-help screen can offer useful information and alternative solutions, make sure this content doesn't create a barrier to requesting a refund. For example, avoid making people scroll or open another screen to reveal your refund-request button. When people choose your refund-request item, they automatically enter the system-provided refund flow shown below.

A big complaint of developers regarding Apple's App Store has often been that they cannot deal with refund requests directly, so these upcoming changes could indicate Apple is trying to improve both the customer and developer experience in this regard.

You can find a run down of everything Apple announced at WWDC 2021 here.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9