Paytm blames Google of discrimination after app removed from Play Store

Calling Google's actions unjustified, Paytm said that their cashback campaign was within guidelines and there were no violations. It said that Google is making policies that are over and above laws of the country

Paytm hits back at Google Paytm hits back at Google

Paytm hit back at tech giant Google in a strongly-worded response on Sunday evening. The home-grown app said that Google runs a similar campaign to their UPI cashback feature on their app Paytm Cricket League. This campaign is the reason Paytm was taken down from Google Play Story on Friday.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma-helmed Paytm has said that while they were delisted from Play Store, a similar campaign is run by Google itself. It then mentions Google Pay's Tez Shots campaign that allows a user to play the games as many times as they want and earn vouchers that can be unlocked at each milestone. When and if the players qualify for a lucky draw, they get assured tickets of up to Rs 1 lakh. Players can also earn rewards and discounts on different services that can be availed via Google Pay app, stated Paytm. "Presumably, such cashback campaigns of Google Pay are not in breach of Play Store policies, or maybe they are, but a different set of rules apply to Google's own apps," said Paytm in a blog post.

Also read: Google is 'judge, jury, executioner': Paytm hits back after Play Store takes down app

"The Google Play Support team had written to us on 3 occasions (on August 20th, August 28th and September 1st) with some concerns on a separate matter of Paytm First Games' promotion through the Paytm app. While we strenuously disagreed with the allegation that we are breaching the policy (and we disagree with the policy itself too), we immediately complied with the diktat that barred us from promoting our gaming subsidiary," said Paytm.

The payments app said that Paytm First Games can run paid promotions on YouTube -- which is owned by Google -- but is not allowed to do the same advertisement on the Paytm app. Calling Google's actions unjustified, Paytm said that their cashback campaign was within guidelines and there were no violations.

In a post-script, Paytm said, "Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them."

In the blog post, Paytm stated that Google did not give them an opportunity to respond. "This was the first time that Google was sending us a notification regarding our UPI cashback & scratch cards campaign. Contrary to accepted practise, we were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views," it said.

Paytm's campaign was rolled out on September 11. It allowed players to collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. Users can collect cricket stickers after payment transactions. Once a certain number of stickers is collected, users can sweepstake cashback. Users can also gift and receive stickers to friends. 

Also read: Paytm returns to Google Play Store hours after takedown

Also read: Paytm app, Paytm First Games removed from Play Store on policy violations