Paytm, a mobile app used by millions of Indians to pay whatever comes to mind, from utility bills, groceries and more was temporarily removed from the Google Play Store.
Paytm said that Google told the Indian tech firm its app contained “content that doesn’t comply with Google’s gambling policy.” In a separate statement made by Google, they talked about how they don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting.
The app was removed from the Google Play Store last Friday. They had to remove an entire cashback feature that was promoted through a large campaign prompting a statement from the president of Paytm.
“I think we are focused on some of the bigger questions that this raises, which is that effectively, Google has a monopoly on the Android ecosystem in India, which is 95% of phone users. And they can basically decide what policies they want to make and how arbitrarily they want to enforce them,”
“That’s a big sword that is hanging over the necks of all Indian start-ups who are innovating for india. That Google can one day decide that they no longer like your app and effectively remove access to it,”
Paytm is also a completely licensed digital bank. They received approval from the Reserve Bank of India and gave them permission to formally launch Paytm Payments Bank.
Google said in response to Paytm’s president claims: “Offering cashbacks and vouchers alone do not constitute a violation of our Google Play gambling policies.”
“We enforce our policies very thoughtfully to provide a safe and secure experience for consumers, while also giving developers the platform and tools they needed to build sustainable business,”
“In the case of repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced consistently.”
The campaign launched by Paytm that prompted Google’s reaction consisted of users being able to collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to win cashbacks if they made bill payments or transferred money using its app.