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India's Paytm challenges Google, launches its own mini app store

Paytm is listing and distributing these mini apps from within its app, without any charge.

Ola Olaoluwa
Ola Olaoluwa

Paytm has challenged Google’s Play Store by launching its Android Mini App Store. By doing so, it seeks to help developers take their applications to the masses more easily. This is the start-up’s latest move to break Google’s monopoly over distribution of Android applications.

Developers will be able to give a choice of Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net banking, and card payments to users.

Mini apps are custom-built mobile websites that give users an app-like experience without requiring an actual download — which will benefit millions of users by helping them save their data and memory. Interestingly, this development comes just weeks after Google pulled down the Paytm app from its Play Store temporarily, citing violation of its gambling policies.

Food delivery firms Zomato and Swiggy have also paused their sports-based cashback games after the tech giant sent them notices for violating Play Store policies related to sports betting activities — which Zomato has termed as ‘unfair’. Media reports suggest Indian start-up founders have joined hands to create an alternative indigenous app store.

Paytm has created the digital infrastructure to help small developers and businesses set up low-cost and quick-to-build mini-apps that can be built using HTML and javascript tech.

The company is providing the option to pay via Paytm wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, and UPI at zero charges, while levying a 2 per cent charge for other instruments such as credit cards.

Paytm’s Android Mini App Store offers direct access to discover, browse, and pay without downloading or installing separate apps. More than 300 app-based service providers such as Decathalon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, and Domino’s Pizza have joined the programme.

“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 chief executive officer of Paytm.
Vijay Shekar Sharma, Paytm CEO

PLANET OF THE APPS

  • Paytm offering listing and distribution of mini apps without any charge
  • Mini apps are custom-built websites that do not require a download; helps save data and memory
  • More than 300 app-based service providers like Decathalon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, and Domino's have joined
  • This follows Google's revocation of Paytm app from Play Store over violation of gambling policies
  • Google followed up by saying apps that sell digital goods within the Play Store have to use its billing system that allows it to collect a percentage of in-app purchases as a fee.
News

Ola Olaoluwa

Writer | Economist | Actor | Fashion Entrepreneur