In a bid to take on the Google-Apple duopoly and push for self-reliance, digital payments giant Paytm has launched its Android Mini App Store.
Paytm plans to use the app store to help developers take their applications to the masses. This is the startup’s latest move after its Premier League (IPL)-led cashback scheme Paytm Cricket League was temporarily banned from the Google Play Store India.
Paytm is providing listing and distribution of 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.
Mini apps are custom-built mobile websites that give users an app-like experience without requiring an actual download. This will benefit millions of users by helping them save their data and memory.
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 Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, and Domino’s Pizza have joined the programme.
“It comes with a developer dashboard for analytics and payment collection, along with various marketing tools to engage with users. This app store has been running in beta with select users and has witnessed over 12 million visits in September,” the company said in a statement.
It will levy a 2% charge for other instruments like credit cards.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm said, “I am proud that we are today launching something that creates an opportunity for every Indian app developer. 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 any separate download and enables them to use their preferred payment option.”
What Does The App Offer
- Listing and distribution of mini apps without any charge
- Mini apps are custom-built websites that do not require a download
- More than 300 app-based service providers have joined
Meanwhile, food delivery firms Zomato and Swiggy have also hit the pause button on their sports-based cashback games after Google sent them notices for violating Play Store policies related to sports betting activities.
Last week, Indian startup founders had aired their unhappiness over Google tightening its norms and tweeted about creating an alternative indigenous app store.
Google had last Monday issued a missive to reiterate its policy under which it will deduct 30% commission for all in-app purchases for digital goods.
Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the concerns, Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has on September 29 allaying fears of startup founders, called for a meeting to discuss 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 which are contrary to our country’s laws,” IAMAI said.
Last Thursday, ET NOW, citing sources, posted on Twitter that the Indian government was planning to create an indigenous App Store, as an alternative to Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
The tweet mentioned that the new App Store would be developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, an autonomous scientific society operating under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Further, the tweet read that the government would consider making its homegrown App Store a mandatory pre-installed feature on all Android phones.
Founders of Indian startups have uniformly opposed Google’s 30% commission policy.
It is reported that the proposed ‘Made in India’ App Store wouldn’t charge any such commission for in-app purchases from app developers. The new App Store could be a refurbished version of the government’s existing Mobile Seva App Store, which hosts applications for Android, Windows, and iOS devices.
The apps listed on the Mobile Seva App Store are those developed and operated by government agencies for the delivery of public services, such as Aarogya Setu.
Among the other current options for an Indian App Store, there’s App Bazaar, an app marketplace for users of Indus OS, India’s first indigenous smartphone operating system.