Paytm has taken the issues of the monopoly of Google Play Store into its own hands by launching a new Paytm Mini App Store. This comes just days after several tech entrepreneurs in India raised their voices to have a national app store. Although this may not be exactly what was being demanded but certainly something close to counter the monopoly of Google.
There are some interesting features on the platform to assist the developers and customers. The links for apps will be hosted by Paytm to progressive Web apps (PWAs). PWA’s are basically light apps that can be even made to run on any browsers even without the need to install the apps.
Paytm Mini App Store so far has very limited apps but the mobile payments king is expected to add as many as 300 services in the coming days.
But Why The Need For New App Store?
A question bothering many android users would be why is there a need to have another app store. The main reason for this was the uproar amongst many developers especially Indian developers after Google announced they would be making it mandatory for all apps on Google Play to make implement the Google Play billing system and provide Google a hefty commission for in-app purchases.
To ensure they have enough time to implement the UPI for subscription option that will be made available on Google Play — for all apps that currently use an alternative payment system. We consider it extremely important to understand the concerns across the ecosystem, and these listening sessions over the next several weeks will help us find comprehensive solutions that work for everyone. Google in a Blog Post
Google responded to the outrage by stating that as many as 97% of apps had already complied with the change in the policy. To which entrepreneurs including Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and GOQii’s Vishal Gondal replied that the protest for the policy change has been ongoing for quite some time and they are demanding a National alternative to the Google Play Store.
What’s The Problem In Commission?
Many developers have stated that although Google may say that the commission is just 30% of the in-app purchase amount, for emerging startups implementing on the online platform for operation, this is a significant amount and will result in significant losses for them.
They will have to tackle this by increasing the in-app purchase amount which will likely affect the customer base and may result in lesser users actually ending up paying for the service.
In terms of major Indian companies, several apps such as Paytm, Swiggy, Zomato, RazorPay, and many more have openly spoken about the policy change by Google. Swiggy and Zomato have also reportedly been served with notices from Google after they were on the verge of starting a gamification feature on the app in the eve of IPL. Both companies had to change their strategies and called Google’s notice ‘unfair’.
Fortnite the Battle Royale game was amongst the first to oppose the change in Google’s change in policy. This resulted in the app being removed from the Google Play Store after lawsuits from Fortnite. The game labeled the search giants policy change as ‘anti-competitive’. There are many other popular apps such as Netflix, Spotify, Match, etc who do not use Google’s billing system to avoid the sharing of revenue earned from in-app purchases.
What Does Paytm Mini App Store Provide?
Paytm is also said to integrate its Payments platform on the app store. This will allow apps to make use of free payment avenues such as Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, and UPI. But there was a mention of a 2% service charge levied on payments made using credit cards.
Paytm has already rolled out beta testing of the Paytm Mini App Store in phases in the country. For now, there are very limited but useful apps including AQI Monitor, EMI Calculator, MojoPizza, Horoscope, Speedtest, and Unit Converter.
Although, Paytm has claimed that over 300 app-based service providers have already shaken hands with the platform. This also includes some of the very popular names such as Decathlon, Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu, Rapido, Netmeds, 1mg, NoBroker, Ola, Ovenstory Pizza, and many more. These apps can be expected to be added to the app store very soon.
To find the Paytm Mini App Store all you have to do is on the Paytm App click on the Show More option followed by Mini Store App from the pop-up menu.
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