Google Drops Paytm From Play Store; Restores Later
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Hours after being taken down by Google from Play Store, the search engine giant has restored Paytm on Play Store. Paytm's founder - Vijay Shekhar Sharma through a tweet announced that the app is live on Google Play Store and was taken down because they launched a UPI cashback campaign.
Google on Friday took down one of the most used online payment apps Paytm from the Google Play Store. This meant, android smartphone users were not able to download or install the app for the time being. Google has also taken down PaytmFirstGames from the app store. The company has recently roped in Sachin Tendulkar as its ambassador.
Other Paytm apps such as Paytm For Business, Paytm Money and Paytm Mall are still available on the Play Store.
Paytm through its official Twitter handle had earlier said that the app will be back very soon.
“All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal,” the company tweeted.
In a blog the company wrote: "We recently launched the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ on our consumer app for users to engage in their passion of cricket and get cashback. The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm Cashback.
Today afternoon, we received communication from Google that they are suspending our app because they believe this to be a violation of their Play Store policies on gambling. The Paytm Android app has thus been unlisted from Google’s Play Store and is temporarily unavailable to users for new downloads or updates."
The company had said that it has temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements.
Meanwhile, Google’s vice-president of product, Android security and privacy, Suzanne Frey in a blog dated September 18 wrote: “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.”
She further wrote that if an app violates their security policies then Google notifies the developer team and then removes the app from Google Play Store until the developer brings the app into compliances.
She said that if an app repeatedly violates Google’s policy, then Google can take serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts.The blog did not, however, named Paytm.
According to reports, Google has dropped more apps from the Play Store.
Akash Karmakar, partner, Law Offices of Panag & Babu said, "While PayTM did not directly engage in, or promote sports betting or gambling, it did have links to third-party sites which did. The ease of using PayTM on these third-party apps may have been viewed by Google as the element which makes PayTM as supporting these sites. Google appears to have taken an ethical stand against apps which promote or even advertise unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. Since many other apps are also promoting betting and gambling websites through ads and pop-ups, if Google applies the same standard, I would expect more apps will get taken off the Play Store."