Along with the BlackBerry PlayBook WebWorks SDK, RIM announced the opening beta of their Payment service, which won’t only allow in-app purchases, but also content unlocking, and subscription services.
This program has been in the works for over a year now, so it’s good to see it’s finally coming to the public. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know, there aren’t any other official app portals that yet support subscription-required apps within the catalog itself. Sure, once you go to a separate web page on a desktop computer and submit your credit card information directly to app vendors, you can get subscription apps like Slacker working on your mobile, but that whole set-up isn’t well-represented in any app market. They’re usually listed as free, but once downloaded, end-users shockingly discover that they need a verified premium account to log into the app. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll see subscriptions in App World until it gets out of 2.1 beta.
BlackBerry’s a little late to the game when it comes to in-app purchases, though; hopefully the extra flexibility and revenue stream for developers will tear them away from their Android and iPhone apps for a bit and help out with the App World’s volume.
If you’re a developer and want to give the BlackBerry Payment Service a shot, hit up RIM’s landing page.