Paytm, India’s famous payments and financial services app was delisted and briefly removed from the Google Play Store last week. Google support, in an email to Paytm said the app violated the Play Stores payment rules. Though the app was reinstated, this hasn’t gone down too well with Paytm that took to its blog to post a story of the app’s delisting from the Play Store for not complying with the platform’s gambling policy.
In the post, Paytm strongly accused the search engine giant and its employees of “making policies which are over and above” the laws of India, and of “arbitrarily” implementing them. The post is a brief background of why the app was delisted and then relisted and also how Google’s own UPI offers similar cashback to what Paytm got removed from the Play Store.
According to the blog post, on September 11 Paytm launched UPI cashback campaign on its app called ‘Paytm Cricket League’. The offer allowed users on making recharges, payments, or transfers collect “cricket stickers & scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. On September 18, the payment app received an email from Google Play Support stating the said app had been delisted and removed from the platform.
Paytm argues this was the first occasion Google sent a notification regarding the “UPI cashback & scratch cards campaign” and that the company was not given the “opportunity to respond to Google’s concerns or put forward their views.” Paytm was quick to comply with Google’s direction (in spite of disagreeing with the policy in general) and have the app reinstated but didn’t hold back in saying that the “cashback campaign was within guidelines and the law of the land.”
Paytm also accused Google of its Google Pay ‘Tez Shots’ campaign which lets users earn vouchers and unlock them at each milestone to qualify for a lucky draw to win up to Rs 1 lakh. Such a campaign, Paytm blog reads “are not in breach of Play Store policies, or maybe they are, but a different set of rules apply to Google’s own apps.”
Now, Google has refuted Paytm’s claims that it was removed from the Play Store due to cashbacks. In a statement, Google claims “offering cashbacks and vouchers alone do not constitute a violation of Google Play gambling policies.”