By Gairika Mitra, Tech Enthusiast
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma expressed his surprise at Google’s decision that called for removing the Paytm app from Play Store. It was said that this was majorly due to the fact that Google felt Paytm has been involved in what is called as gambling in simple terms. Countering this view, Shekhar Sharma held the view that Paytm users availing a benefit under a scratch card can in no terms be labelled as gambling.
Addressing Google as the “judge, jury and executioner”, the Paytm founder held the view that his company had launched an IPL game, wherein the winner earns a sticker that offers cashback which was being equated as gambling by Google. Last week, Google had pulled down Paytm’s mobile application from its app store, citing policies on gaming and betting as the reason for the move. To clarify further, Google said that it doesn’t permit online casinos on gaming and neither does it support unregulated gambling apps that facilitates sports betting.
Talking to a national publication, Sharma said that Google had only reached out regarding Paytm First Games, while highlighting that Paytm has already been complying with Google’s concerns and has removed the scratch cards accordingly. He further added that Paytm has been targeted for its promotion scheme and that it’s now unable to acquire new customers.
He said that Paytm is now at the mercy of Google. While stressing on the fact, Sharma said that many entrepreneurs face these kinds of problems in the startup world, wherein a monopoly of certain players exist. Further adding that most Indian companies are being subjected to actions by those beyond the purview of the Indian laws, it’s to be seen what policies does Paytm adapt to survive this.
Amid all this, Google had however not specified as to which service on the Paytm app was non-compliant. Experts in this field say that perhaps it was the fact that redirecting users to other platforms from within the apps, is not allowed under the policies of Google, the one that Paytm has been doing for Paytm First Games in this case.
Recently, Paytm that has a user base of around 80 million has been facilitating and working on Paytm Money, a unit of its own, which is aiming to become a top stock broking firm by helping local retail investors avoid the biggest investing hazard of getting burned during a down cycle and quitting for good. This app aims to make zero-free stock trading available to its wide userbase, by planning to put algorithms to work on India’s smartphone and savvy investors, one that can be nudged to exit loss-making trades and also book profits at the right opportunity.