Paytm to open ‘mini app’ store for Indian developers

‘More than 300 service providers have joined programme’

Dialling things up a notch in the fight against Google, Paytm has announced the launch of its “mini app” store to “support Indian developers” in taking their products to the masses.

The mini apps are a custom-built mobile website that give users app-like experience without having to download them.

Also read | Paytm CEO rallies app operators against Google over Play Store’s billing mandate

New section

Paytm will add a new section on its main application wherein these mini apps will be listed and can be accessed by Paytm app users.

“I am proud that we are launching something that creates an opportunity for every Indian app developer. Paytm Mini App Store empowers our young Indian developers to leverage our reach and payments to build new innovative services. For Paytm users, it will be a seamless experience that doesn’t require any separate download and enables them to use their preferred payment option,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder & CEO, Paytm, said.

Fight against Google

The move comes at a time when Mr. Sharma, among several other Indian start-up founders, has been at the forefront of voicing displeasure against Google over the U.S. company’s requirement that apps use Play Store’s billing system for in-app purchases of digital goods.

Also read | Google ‘arm twisted’ us to remove a UPI cashback scheme: Paytm

“Be the app that you want to see in the world. Condition: If only Google let’s you be,” Mr. Sharma had recently tweeted.

As per Paytm, more than 300 app-based service providers, such as Decathlon, Ola, Park+, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu and NoBroker had already joined its new programme that comes with a developer dashboard for analytics and payments collection along with various marketing tools to engage with the users.

12 million visits

“This app store has been running in beta with select users and witnessed over 12 million visits in September,” the company said, adding that listing and distribution of these mini apps within Paytm would be provided free of charge.

Further, the app developers will be able to give a choice of Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net-banking and cards to their users for carrying out payments.

Also read | Paytm brings back UPI cashback, scratch cards

“The company provides Paytm wallet, Paytm Payments Bank account and UPI at zero charges and levies a 2% charge for other instruments like credit cards…Paytm has created the digital infrastructure to enable small developers and businesses to set up low-cost, quick-to-build mini-apps which can be built using HTML and javascript technologies,” it said.

Last month, Google had also briefly removed Paytm from its Play Store, citing a violation of its policy on gambling. Paytm had at the time called upon the Indian start-up ecosystem and developers to “think the bigger question”.

It had said: “As a start-up, we are running law-abiding businesses and building for India. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them.”

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