Paytm has launched its own mini app store to support Indian developers after Google removed the Indian Fintech firm from Google Play citing violation of developer guidelines on sports betting and online gambling. Paytm aims to help Indian developers reach out to the masses and break Google’s monopoly in the industry.
“It comes with a developer dashboard for analytics and payment collection, along with various marketing tools to engage users. This app store has been running in beta with select users and has witnessed more than 12 million visits in September,” said Paytm in a statement. More than 300 apps, including Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu, NoBroker, have joined the Paytm app store.
These ‘mini apps’ will be custom-based applications from Indian developers that will run on Paytm’s platform without requiring a download. Considering India’s poor digital penetration, this move will help millions of users save time and money.
Last week, Google made it compulsory for developers to use its billing services to get listed on the play store. Currently, Google charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases. Paytm will also provide listing and distribution of these apps through its store at zero charges with access to Paytm wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, and UPI. Although the company will charge a 2% fee on credit transactions.
“Paytm Mini App Store empowers our young Indian developers to leverage our reach and payments to build new innovative services. For Paytm users, it will be a seamless experience that doesn’t require separate downloads and enables them to use their preferred payment option,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, co-founder, and CEO of Paytm.
Google’s announcement to mandate digital apps to use it’s billing services didn’t go well within the Indian startup ecosystem. Zomato and Swiggy also faced severe disruption of marketing operations as Google hammered their cashback campaigns claiming it violated the developer norms on betting.
India needs a local app store long term else 30% tax will eat up most businesses, is anyone trying to build one? https://t.co/cSdLvjPFVi
— Harshil Mathur (@harshilmathur) September 29, 2020
Media reports also flooded that Indian developers are chiming in against Google’s decision and have decided to do something against it. “India needs a local app store long-term, else 30% tax will eat up most businesses; is anyone trying to build one?” tweeted Harshil Mathur of Razorpay.
Google Delays Commission On In-App Purchases Till April 2020
Google responded after almost 150 startups from India formed an informal coalition to counter Google’s dominance. The California based firm released a statement asking the startups from India to come for a listening session to ponder over issues concerning the changes. The delay will only cover India and the policy changes will be effective globally from September next year.
“We are setting up listening sessions with leading Indian startups to understand their concerns more deeply. We will be setting up Policy Workshops to help clear any additional questions about our Play Store policies. And we’re also extending the time for developers in India to integrate with the Play billing system, to ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system we set a timeline of 31st March 2022,” said Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business Development of Games & Applications at Google Play, in a statement.