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September 21, 2020

Google briefly removes Paytm app over gambling-related policy violations

Google had temporarily pulled down Paytm from the Play Store over gambling policy breach. However, the Indian financial services app is now back on the Play Store.

India-based payments fintech major Paytm recently introduced its ‘Paytm Cricket League’ cashback programme on its Android app.

Google found the programme in violation of the gambling policies of its Play Store app.

As a result, Google removed the Paytm app from the Google Play store. Paytm was notified by Google regarding the same.

In its blog post, Google said: “We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies.”

The Paytm app was unavailable to download or update. However, its services were unaffected.

In its own blog post, Paytm said: “We recently launched the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ on our consumer app for users to engage in their passion of cricket and get cashback. The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm Cashback.

“Today afternoon, we received communication from Google that they are suspending our app because they believe this to be a violation of their Play Store policies on gambling.

“The Paytm Android app has thus been unlisted from Google’s Play Store and is temporarily unavailable to users for new downloads or updates.

“We continue to work with Google to restore the app. We assure all our users that their balances and linked accounts are 100% safe. Our services are fully functional on all existing apps and you can continue enjoying Paytm like before.”

To adhere to Google’s policy, Paytm removed the cashback feature from the app. Hours later, the app was relisted on the Play Store again.

Paytm added: “While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are completely lawful, we have temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements.”

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