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Paytm launches Mini App store, to take on Google’s Play Store

Paytm launches Mini App store
Paytm launches Mini App store (Paytm)

Paytm is inviting Indian developers to distribute their mini app to reach 150 million monthly active users and at 0% payment charges for Paytm Wallet & UPI.

Paytm on Monday announced the launch of a Mini App store for Indian developers. The launch comes days after Google had briefly taken down Paytm from the Play Store – a move that led to calls for an alternative app store to challenge Google’s monopoly in the space.

Paytm on its website says Mini App store will integrate open source technologies such as HTML and Javascript and give access to 150 million monthly active users on Paytm app. Some of the apps already listed on the website are 1MG, Netmeds, Dainik Bhaskar, Digit, Decathlon, and Republic Bharat.

Paytm said that developers can distribute their mini-app on Paytm at 0% payment charges for Paytm wallet and UPI. It levies a 2% charge for other instruments like credit cards.

“Mini Apps are custom built Mobile Web apps based on open source technologies such as HTML and Javascript, offering seamless app-like experience to your customers,” said Paytm in an advertisement.

It also comes with a developer dashboard for analytics, payments collection along with various marketing tools to engage with the users. This app store has been running in beta with select users and witnessed over 12 million visits in the month of September.

Paytm is also going to host a “Paytm Mini App Developer Conference” on October 8.

“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,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm, said in a release.

Google, in the meanwhile, has deferred its new Play Store billing policy in India to April 2022, reports TechCrunch. According to the report, Google has postponed the policy only for the Indian market. The policy is going to go live globally in September 2021.

The latest development comes after many Indian startups raised voice against Google’s controversial 30% tax and mandatory use of Play billing system. Paytm's Sharma is one of the top Indian entrepreneurs who is critical of Google’s policies.

In a video call last week, Sharma described Google as the "big daddy" that controls the "oxygen supply of (app) distribution" on Android phones, according to an attendee. He also sought the support of roughly 50 executives on the call to join hands to "stop this tsunami."

"If we together don't do anything, then history will not be kind to us. We have to control our digital destiny," Sharma had said.

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