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(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Google found 'Paytm Cricket League' cashback scheme violating policies: Paytm

The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm cashback, which Google believes is a violation of its Play Store policies on gambling

New Delhi: Hours after Google pulled down the Paytm app from its Play Store the fintech major assured its users that "their balances and linked accounts are 100% safe".

Google on Friday decided to pull down Paytm and its fantasy sports app Paytm First Games from the Play Store for violating its policies. Google said that Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India. While sports betting is banned in India, fantasy sports, where users select their favourite players and win if their preferred teams or players play well, is not illegal in most Indian states.

"We continue to work with Google to restore our Android app. We assure all our users that their balances & linked accounts are 100% safe. Our services are fully functional on all existing apps and you can continue enjoying Paytm like before," Paytm said in a tweet while attaching a link to its blog post explaining why Google took the step.

"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.

"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.

"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," the company stated in the blog.

Its founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has not tweeted anything from his personal Twitter but he retweeted a bunch of tweets supporting Paytm.

One Twitter user said Sharma should move Supreme Court over Google's "malafide and deliberate action".

Another Twitter user wondered how Google can take the step over scratch stickers offering cashback when Google Pay also does something similar.

Sharma told a business news channel that Google is "acting like the judge, jury and executioner".

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