Paytm launches ‘mini app store’ in a bid to challenge Google Play Store’s monopoly

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

October 5, 2020 11:37:47 am

Paytm Mini App Store has 300 web apps already including big names like Domino’s, Rapido etcPaytm has played its big move in the battle against Google’s Play Store with the launch of its Android Mini App Store for Indian developers. These mini-apps will not be full-fledged apps per se but rather be web apps that are basically websites that act like native apps. Paytm claims that these apps will also help users save their data and memory.
In-app payment options include Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, and UPI at a zero per cent fee which gives new software developers an added incentive. However, there is a 2 per cent charge (plus GST) levied by the company when payment is made using a credit card, debit card and net banking.
Paytm’s big move can be in retortion of Paytm’s temporary removal from Google Play Store citing its violation of gambling policies. Other apps like Zomato and Swiggy were also not happy with Google’s new guidelines as they paused their sports-based cashback which was popular especially during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.
Paytm founder & CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma 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.”
The move has the potential of being welcomed by many Indian developers. Also, it falls under the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission drive as the digital spending of the consumers is in India only. In order to lure small startups, Paytm has said that mini-apps can be set up using HTML and javascript. The company also claims two developers can complete the integration of the web app within just two weeks.
This may turn out to be a big boon for local businesses as they don’t want to spend big on apps and clearly don’t want to give Google a 30 per cent cut on their in-app purchases. At the time of the launch, there are 300 mini-apps on the Paytm mini app store already. The list of these apps includes big names like Domino’s, NetMeds, Decathlon, Ola, Rapido, etc.
Paytm is also holding a developer conference on October 8 to make them understand better how the Google Play Store alternative works. So far, the California tech giant enjoyed a monopoly in the Indian app market as most of the smartphone users have Android-powered smartphones. It will be interesting to see how Google reacts to Paytm’s bold move.

Also, Google wrote in its blog published today said, “Listening carefully to developer and user feedback is integral to how we continue to make Android better with each release, and improve how the Play Store works.”
The Californian tech giant has also extended the timeline (March 31, 2022) by which Indian developers can integrate their apps with the Play Billing system and “implement the UPI for subscription payment option that will be made available on Google Play”.
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