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Paytm back on Play Store after Google rap

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Google on Friday restored the listing of Paytm on its application store, a few hours after it had pulled down the popular financial services platform for violating its policies related to gambling.

In a blogpost, Paytm said it had recently introduced the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ on its consumer app where users receive player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm Cashback, and it was because of this feature that Google had removed the application from Play Store.

While assuring users that their account balance was safe, Paytm, which competes with Google’s digital payments application GPay in India, said all activities on Paytm are completely lawful. It added that, however, it had temporarily removed the cashback component to meet the Play Store policy rules.

“Today afternoon, we received communication from Google that they are suspending our app because they believe this to be a violation of their policies on gambling. The Paytm Android app has thus been unlisted from Play Store and is temporarily unavailable,” Paytm said.

Ahead of the start of Indian Premier League, Suzanne Frey, vice-president, Product, Android Security and Privacy at Google, said the company does not 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 said.

She added that these policies are there to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, Google notifies the developer of the violation and removes the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance, Ms. Frey said, adding that in the case where there are repeated policy violations, Google may take more serious action which includes terminating Google Play.

Ms. Frey added, “Google Play is designed to provide a safe and secure experience for our consumers while also giving developers the platform and tools they need to build sustainable businesses. Our global policies have always been designed with that goal in mind, considering the good of all our stakeholders. We have the same goals for our gambling policy.”

After the app was restored, Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted: “Thanks everyone for your support! Paytm App is back, live in Play Store. We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this. India, you decide if giving cash back is gambling.”

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 7:59:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/google-removes-paytm-app-from-play-store/article32639442.ece

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