[play and earn paytm cash]Paytm vs Google： All you need to know about how Paytm became a ‘gambling app’ for Google
India’s most popular payments app– Paytm– was removed by Google from its Play Store on September 18 for a few hours. Google blamed Paytm for violating its Play Store policies and was quick to create a general impression that Paytm is promoting ‘sports gambling’ through its app and thus, it should be removed as it is against Indian laws and Google’s policies.
Having said that Paytm was quick to respond to the Google Play Store ban and said that “Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them.” Paytm’s argument is clear: “How can UPI cashback be called an ‘online casino’ by Google?” Interestingly, Paytm claims that Google is already running similar campaigns in India through its ‘Tez Shots’ game. Here are all details about the reason Paytm was given over Google Play Store ban and all other details you need to know.
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“This is a concern for every regulator in this country and for the government because our app is not a gambling app. I feel agitated to the level that it won’t stop today or tomorrow, this fight will go long., said Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma in a report by ET. Paytm was being “singled out” and “targeted” while similar features were running elsewhere and on Google’s own payments app, he added.
As per Google, “Offering cashbacks and vouchers alone do not constitute a violation of our Google Play gambling policies. Last week we reiterated our Play Store gambling policies. Our policies don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting, including daily fantasy sports in India. We enforce our policies very thoughtfully to provide a safe and secure experience for consumers, while also giving developers the platform and tools they need to build sustainable businesses. In the case of repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.”
As per Paytm, the launch of ‘Paytm Cricket League’ on September 11 is what triggered Google to remove it from Google Play store.
Paytm explains that ‘Paytm Cricket League’ is a campaign where users could collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. This offer was applicable on recharges, utility payments, UPI money transfers and adding money to Paytm wallet.
As per Paytm, users collect cricket based stickers by doing payment transactions like recharges, money transfers, bill payments etc. Upon collection of a certain number of stickers, users could win sweepstake cashback. Users can gift and receive stickers to their friends.
The reason given by Google to remove Paytm: “Your app contains content that doesn’t comply with the Gambling policy as it offers games with “loyalty” (e.g. engagement or activity) points that (1) are accrued or accelerated via real-money purchases which (2) can be exchanged for items or prizes of real-world monetary value.” Paytm claims that no prior warning was given.
Paytm said in a blog post, “We maintain that our cashback campaign was within guidelines, as well as all laws of the land. We did not break any rules and there was no violation. It is not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever.”
Paytm claims that a similar cashback is being offered by Google Pay. Paytm said, “At the beginning of this Cricket Season itself, Google Pay has started its ‘Tez Shots’ campaign which clearly says, “Score Runs to earn assured rewards worth up to Rs 1. lakh.” According to the steps of the game, a user can play as many times as they want. They earn vouchers that they can unlock at each milestone. Finally, they qualify for a lucky draw through which they get assured tickets up to Rs 1 lakh with any qualifying payment. For different scores starting from 50 to all the way to 1000 plus they also earn rewards and discounts on different services that they avail via the Google Pay app.Presumably, such cashback campaigns of Google Pay are not in breach of Play Store policies, or maybe they are, but a different set of rules apply to Google’s own apps.”
Paytm argues that “driving traffic or promoting fantasy sports is not gambling”. It also states that “Paytm First Games can do a paid promotion on YouTube (which is owned by Google), but it is not allowed to do the same advertisement on the Paytm app, as per Google Policy.” It said, “The Google Play Support team had written to us on 3 occasions (on August 20th, August 28th and September 1st) with some concerns on a separate matter of Paytm First Games’ promotion through the Paytm app. While we strenuously disagreed with the allegation that we are breaching the policy (and we disagree with the policy itself too), we immediately complied with the diktat that barred us from promoting our gaming subsidiary.”
Summarising the entire controversy, Paytm said, “There is a bigger question here that the Indian startup ecosystem and developers should think about. As a startup, we are running law-abiding businesses and building for India. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them.”