On the Play Store, you’ve always seen two distinct types of apps: Free and Paid apps. Free apps may contain ads which provides income for the developer, or alternatively, they can offer a paid version to eliminate the ads.
In order for a developer to publish paid apps directly onto the Play Store in their locale, they had to have a merchant account. If there is no support for merchant registration in the country of residence, developers resulted in sneaky ways to publish their paid apps.
Good news to South African developers where Google has made it possible for them to register for a merchant account on Google Play. Publishers in South Africa will have their currencies displayed in their local currency (ZAR).
South Africa now joins Egypt and Nigeria in the list of African countries where developers can register for a merchant account locally. It is quite interesting that a lot of African countries are yet to be given the merchant registration verified check by Google after all these years (Kenya included) and this is a nice step forward for the continent.
What this means is that developers in South Africa will not see the need to open accounts offshore to sell their apps. Coupled with the fact that their apps will be displayed in their local currency, the rand, will make it more viable to their target demographic at home.
We are now waiting for Google to do this for the Kenyan market, but at the current rate, don’t be too optimistic.