In a surprising move on Friday, Google has removed the Paytm app from its Play store. In a statement, Google said that it doesn’t want to endorse any gambling apps or practices on its platform. They explained their stance further on the situation in a blog post talking about gambling policies on the Google Play Store. The post is titled,
“Understanding our Play gambling policies in India.”
It is worth noting that while Goggle has removed the Paytm app, one can still find other apps from the company like Paytm Mall, Paytm for Business, Paytm Money, etc. Experts believe that this is only a temporary step, and soon the app will once again be available in the Google Play Store.
What goes Google find so intolerable about Paytm now?
In its post, Google explained,
“We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies. We have these policies to protect users from potential harm.”
What will happen if Paytm doesn’t heed to the Warning?
Vice President of Google Product, Android Security, and Privacy, Suzanne Frey further added, “When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance.” She further explained, “And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.”
Paytm’s response to the situation
Paytm has acknowledged this situation by issuing a statement on their Twitter profile. They wrote,
“Dear Paytm’ers, Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google’s Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon. All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal.”
Paytm is one of India’s most used digital payment app and has more than 50 million active monthly users. Paytm was one of the earliest startups in the country related to digital money transfers and online wallets. It has found immense success so far and has generated revenue of up to US$ 500 million in 2019.
Many experts highly believe that this move comes at a crucial time, just a day before the kickstart of the IPL Cricket League. Cricket season is one time in India that we experience a high splurge of interest towards apps that engage in any sort of gambling or betting practices.
However, we so no reason for Paytm users to be worried as Paytm is already in the process of negotiations with Google. Its believed that the app will be soon back on the Play store after they curb any links and advertisements from their app that may lead users of the app to a third party website. Its to be seen whether these restrictions will last during this IPL season or stay the same for the future.