It seemed like good news when Australian Android developers were finally allowed to sell apps through the Android Market last month. However, it turns out that there's a nasty twist in the tale: Google hasn't set up any facilities to let developers link their bank accounts to the payment system, meaning they can't access any revenue from their creations.
Lifehacker reader Brian Hislop wrote to us and explained the issue:
As a budding Android developer, I was excited to hear the news a few weeks back that Google had enabled Australian Developers to be able to publish paid apps in the Android Market. Something that I think has slipped under the radar, is the fact that while an Australian developer can publish a paid app in the Android Market, and anyone can buy it, there is currently no way for us to link our Google Checkout account to an Australian Bank account. In fact, there's no way to link it to any bank account! This means that revenue generated from selling apps is stuck in limbo in our Google Checkout account, with no way to access it.
I've raised the query with Google Checkout support, and received the following response:
"In order to receive payments for charged orders, you must specify and verify bank account information in your Google Checkout account. However, the bank account page is currently unavailable for Australian developers.You can continue to process transactions using Google Checkout and payout for all charged orders will be issued as soon as the bank account verification process is complete. At this time we are unable to comment on when it will be possible to submit bank account information in your Google Checkout account. We will update you as soon as we have more information."
We know that Lifehacker readers love Android, and from the end user perspective this doesn't make any real difference. But there's no excuse for Google treating developers as a funding resource and not getting its act together enough to actually pay them for their work. Here's hoping someone at Mountain View pulls their finger out and gets this sorted as a matter of priority. Thanks Brian!