Paytm says users money safe after Google removes app from Playstore

Topics Paytm | Google Play Store | Apps

Twitter users were first to spot the app was missing from the Store | Photo: Bloomberg
Digital wallet Paytm said its users' money is "completely safe" after Google Play Store removed the payments app for alleged "unregulated gambling”.

Paytm is India’s leading digital payments app, claiming over 50 million monthly active users. Twitter users were first to spot the app was missing from the Store. 

UPDATE: Paytm returned to Play Strore Friday evening. You can read more about that story here.

"All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal," said the company on Twitter.

The company had not breached Google policies but was running an offer that gave its users stickers, for payments and money transfers, which could then be used to redeem cashbacks - a move Google deemed as gambling, a Paytm spokesman told Reuters.

Paytm has since removed the promotion from its app, he added. Google did not immediately respond to Reuters request seeking comment on how Paytm's cashback offer violated its policies.

"We don’t allow online casinos/support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. It includes if app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money/cash prizes,” said a Google blog post quoted by CNBC-TV18 and The Indian Express.

Dear Paytm'ers,

Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon.

All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal.

— Paytm (@Paytm) September 18, 2020

“We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance. And in the case where there are 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,” said the blog post that didn't name Paytm.

Techcrunch website, while quoting two unnmaed sources, said Paytm had violated Play Store’s policies banning online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India. Paytm First Games, available as a standalone app and promoted by the main app, was also pulled from the Play Store.

Paytm for Business, Paytm Mall, and Paytm Money, are available for download.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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