Paytm taken off Play Store, back on

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Updated: Sep 20, 2020 11:56 AM

A Paytm spokesperson told FE these are standard cashback campaigns, typically meant to promote digital payments, and more like an engagement initiative.

“Google believes this is in some way related to gambling,” the spokesperson had said prior to the restoration of the app services.“Google believes this is in some way related to gambling,” the spokesperson had said prior to the restoration of the app services.

Hours after Google pulled out Paytm from the Play Store on Friday due to alleged violation of gambling policies, the app’s listing on the platform was restored. However, the Paytm First Games app, which also had been removed, had not been relisted at the time of going to press. Other apps like Paytm for Business, Paytm Mall and Paytm Money remained listed.

The problems related to Paytm’s cashback campaign, which was viewed by Google to be in contravention of its gambling policies. For its part, Paytm said the Paytm Cricket League allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive a cashback. It is not clear if the cashback component that had been temporarily removed by the company to meet the Play Store policy requirements has been reintroduced.

A Paytm spokesperson told FE these are standard cashback campaigns, typically meant to promote digital payments, and more like an engagement initiative.“Google believes this is in some way related to gambling,” the spokesperson had said prior to the restoration of the app services.

The abrupt move by Google came a day before the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to kick off in the UAE. Play Store does not list online gaming platforms like Dream11 and Mobile Premier League.

Earlier on Friday, Google in a blog post had said: “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.”

Ahead of the restoration of the app on Play Store, Paytm founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had said on a leading television channel he was surprised that the app had been taken off and this was a problem that everybody in the app ecosystem faces. “Google has unilaterally decided it many a times and taken the apps off without listening because they are the judge, jury, defendant and claimant,” Sharma said.

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