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(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Paytm is back on Play Store, hours after Google removes the app

  • For a few hours, Paytm app was removed from Google Play store on Friday
  • The fintech major had recently launched the 'Paytm Cricket League' on its consumer app, which Google believed to be a violation of its policies on gambling

Fintech major on Friday evening said it's back on Google Play Store hours after it was pulled down for allegedly violating gambling policies.

"Update: And we're back!" said Paytm in a terse tweet.

Earlier on Friday, in a blog post the company said its recently launched ‘Paytm Cricket League’ was found in violation of the Play Store policies on gambling.

"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," the company stated earlier.

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

Paytm said it removed the cashback component to adhere with the Google policy.

"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," the company said.

Google, in its own blog post on Friday, said it does not allow apps facilitating sports betting and will remove such apps from the Google Play store.

"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 blog post said.

These policies are in place to protect users from potential harm, it added.

There is often a surge in launches of such apps before major sporting tournaments like the IPL.

The latest season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is scheduled to start from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.

Google said when an app violates these policies, it notifies the developer of the violation and removes 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," the blog post by Android Security and Privacy Vice President Product Suzanne Frey said.

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