The Indian digital payments giant Paytm has launched a new mini-app store as an alternative to the Google Play Store, a near-monopoly in the Indian smartphone market.
The mini-app store lives inside Paytm’s primary smartphone app and hosts popular apps, including Zoomcar, Freshmenu, Ola, 1Mg, etc. According to Livemint, the Paytm Mini App Store currently includes over 300 apps that people can use without downloading and installing on their device.
Paytm’s competitor PhonePe also runs a similar mini store that provides access to popular apps. However, it remains to be seen whether such offerings can make any difference.
The move comes after the digital payments app was pulled from Google Play last month, where Google cited gambling practices as the reason. However, Paytm seems to be concerned with Google’s ever-rising stronghold in the Indian app ecosystem.
Google delays 30% Play Store commission
Recently, Google announced that Android apps on Google Play must use its payment system for in-app purchases, paid versions, etc., allowing it to charge up to 30% commission on the transactions.
The new Play Store policies will come into effect globally from September 2021. However, Google has pushed back in India and delayed implementing the changes until March 31, 2022. This comes days after over 150 Indian startups came together to form an informal coalition.
Google said it will hold talks with concerned startups and also address questions regarding Play Store policies.
Major Indian startups are joining hands to come with an Indian Play Store alternative with the government’s help that can compete with the likes of Google and Apple. Recent reports suggest that the capabilities of the government-backed Mobile Seva app might be extended to present it as a Google Play alternative.
It’s to be noted that Google has announced changes in Android 12 that’ll make it easier to install and use third-party app stores on Android smartphones.