The popular Indian financial services app Paytm, was pulled out from the play store yesterday. Paytm is one of the most dominant payments apps in India, valued at $16 billion. It all started over a Paytm cricket league contest that was unveiled on Friday morning, and in no time, Paytm was accused of violating the gambling policies. The app owned by one97 suddenly disappeared from google play store, after hours of which, Paytm stated in a twitter comment ”Paytm android app is temporarily unavailable on google’s play store for new downloads and updates. It will be back soon. All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal “.
UPDATE: Paytm is now back and available for download on Google play store.
WHY WAS IT REMOVED?
On Friday morning, Paytm unveiled its cricket league contest in order to celebrate IPL. The contest allowed the users to win stickers featuring their favourite cricket player and eventually collect cash for every five stickers won. Paytm has had a “scratch and win” promotion on its app for a long time and like the rest of its competitors, it was used to lure the users with cashback promotions. The cash backs were issued in ways of cricket-themed cards.
Google made clear that play store prohibits online gambling and any other unregulated app that promotes sports betting in India. They also said that these policies are made to protect users from potential harm, and strict actions will be taken if any app violates the rules. According to sources, Paytm was warned earlier but made repeated violations of the google policy. Moreover, Paytm’s fantasy sports service called Paytm first games was pulled out too.
Satish Meena, a senior analyst said that “ Google holds monopoly with its play store and this is a very random action they have taken against Paytm, and I hope this will set off a discussion that will lead to overseeing google’s power. Especially in areas where google itself is a competitor.”
The rivalry between Google Play and Paytm has grown in the past few months. Recently, in a televised interview with CNBC TV18, Paytm co-founder accused Google of not allowing Paytm to acquire new users.