Google removes Paytm from Play Store for repeated violation of its policies

Yolanda Curtis
September 21, 2020

But it did point at something which was worrying on a larger scale. "In many cases like maps, email, payments, shopping, cloud storage, etc, Google also has apps that compete with other apps, including, of course, the apps that are made by Indian startups". Both companies have their own side of the story to share.

Paytm, which was restored on Google play store on Friday said that its cashback campaign was within the guidelines, with no rules being broken.

On Friday morning, at around 11:30, Paytm said that it received an email from Google Play Support informing that the Paytm Android app had been delisted since it doesn't comply with Google's policy around "gambling".

A Google spokesperson said, "We deliberately implement our policies to provide consumers with a safe experience, as well as to provide developers with the platform and tools to build a sustainable business". In the event of repeated violations, we can also take serious steps, including the suspension of Google Play developer account. "Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently". To promote this, a campaign was launched where users could collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. Paytm confirms that Google did not give them a chance to respond, as is usually the norm.

Global internet giant Google's Play store rules forced Paytm to roll back a UPI cashback campaign which is legal in India, digital payments company Paytm claimed on Sunday. "Contrary to accepted practice, we were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views", added the company in its blog post. Calling Google's actions unjustified, Paytm said that their cashback campaign was within guidelines and there were no violations. "It was also not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever", Paytm added its blog.

According to Google, the mobile payment platform app's scratch card-based cricket promotion had breached the Play store's gambling policies.

Notably, Paytm is still available for iOS users on the App Store.

India's digital payments market is dominated by Google Pay, followed closely by PhonePe, with Paytm ranking a distant third. Even if these apps aren't always enabling transactions or fantasy league gameplay, they are surely advertising such activities.

You may not exactly be surprised to know that Google Pay in India was also attempting to cash in on the excitement ahead of the return of cricket, with the IPL 2020.

It doesn't help that the rules in the policy statement aren't clear.

Paytm First Games can conveniently do a paid promotion on Google-owned YouTube but it is not allowed to do the same advertisement on the Paytm app as per Google Policy, Paytm stated.

In June, research and strategy firm Zinnov had released data which suggested that Paytm has 39 million daily active users (DAU) in the country, while Google Pay logs in with around 19 million DAU.

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