Paytm Launches Mini App Store Amid Calls For Indian Alternative to Google Play Store

Paytm launches mini app store. Image used for representation.

Paytm launches mini app store. Image used for representation.

Paytm was taken off from Google Play Store last month for violating Google's policy against gambling.

Digital payments app Paytm has launched its own mini app store which can be accessed directly via the Paytm app. This comes weeks after Paytm was taken off Google's Play Store for violating its policies against gambling. It also comes Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma was reported to be working towards bringing an Indian alternative to Google Play, after Indian developers called for a local alternative to Google's Play Store and Apple App Store. The push for an Indian alternative to Google Play Store has become stronger after Google tightened its grip over the 30 percent commission for in-app purchases using Google's billing system.

Paytm said more than 300 apps including Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino's Pizza, FreshMenu, NoBroker, and others have joined its mini app store. Paytm is providing listing and distribution of these mini apps from within its app, without any charge. Developers will be able to give a choice of Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net banking, and card payments to users. Paytm will make the mini app store available through its app. The mini app store will have mini apps, which are custom-made mobile websites that give users an app-like experience, saving them data and battery. Paytm competitor PhonePe also launched its in-app platform in June 2018, which was later rebranded to PhonePe Switch in October last year.

The mini app store can be accessed via the main section of the Paytm app, where users can find the option of paying bills. Users can access the mini app store by going to the middle section of the home screen > show more > mini app store. The app store has several categories like shopping, food delivery, healthcare, lifestyle, education, travel and transport, news and content, live TV, and more. The mini store also tells user what's trending and the best offers.

The push for an Indian alternative for Google Play Store has been quite significant since Paytm was taken off Google's Play Store last month. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said late last month that it is seeking a meeting with its members to understand the issue. "Just because Google owns the gate and the gateway to the digital ecosystem of this country, they should not act arbitrarily and enforce their rules and regulations that are contrary to our country’s laws," a member was quoted by LiveMint as saying.

Paytm was last month briefly taken down from the Google Play Store for 'repeatedly' violating Google's anti-gambling policies.

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