Nearly 1 in 5 Android in-app purchases are fraudulent


Swrve’s latest research comes on the heels of GoogleI/O, indicating that about 19% of in-app purchases on Android devices are actually fraudulent. The troubling data could account for some of Android’s lower-than-Apple revenue share of the app marketplace.

The 19% figure is based on all in-app purchase (IAP) data on Android platforms in the month of May. The analysis was limited solely to apps that include in-app purchases as an option, with IAPs being strictly defined as those fulfilled via the Google Play store.

This still left over 50 apps in the analysis and the revenue events cover millions of users. Using Swrve’s ‘fraud filter’ technology all local revenue events were verified against Google Play receipts and thus determined as valid or invalid (or fraudulent).

For app developers seeking a safe haven for revenue, this data might come as a disappointment. Likewise, Swrve’s Mobile OS Report shows that Apple is still dominating monetization when it comes to app usage. For in-app purchases, apps on iOS deliver 45% more revenue per user than Android. They also deliver 10% more revenue per paying user.

For app developers, the numbers may not come as a surprise, as there are You-Tube videos demonstrating ways to obtain free in-app purchases like this: