Paytm takes on Google monopoly in India with mini-app store

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Representational Image

Indian digital payments firm Paytm has launched a mini-app store to aid developers in the country which marks a direct challenge with the US-based tech giant Google to eliminate its monopoly over the distribution of Android applications.

The listing and distribution of these mini-apps are provided within the Paytm app without cost and the developers will be given the option to make payments through Paytm wallet, Paytm Payments Bank and UPI for free and a 2 percent charge for other methods like credit cards.

The Mini app store’s mobile website provides the users with an app-like experience without having to download any app, which is an added advantage to users as they can save their data and memory. 

This move from Paytm follows Google’s act of temporarily removing the payment app from its Play Store last month for violating developer guidelines on real-money gaming. India’s food delivery firms Zomato and Swiggy have also been forced to eliminate their sports-based cashback games as the tech giant warned it was a violation of their policies related to sports betting activities. Frustrated with these practices, about 50 Indian start-up founders have aligned to develop an alternative indigenous app store, suggest reports. 

The Indian payment app has developed the digital infrastructure to enable the small developers and businesses to set up a minimum-cost and quick-to-build mini-apps that can be created using HTML and JavaScript tech. It comes with a developer dashboard for analytics and payment collection as well as several marketing tools to attract users.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma Image
Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Co-Founder & CEO

“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.”

The Mini App Store allows direct entry to discover, browse and play without downloading specific apps. Currently, over 300 apps including Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, FreshMenu, NoBroke and Domino’s Pizza have joined the program, the company said.

On September 29, Google announced that all apps selling digital goods within the Play Store must use its billing and revenue sharing system, which enables the tech giant to collect 30 percentage of in-app purchases as a fee.