Paytm Mini-App Store Launched — Is it the Play Store Alternative We’re Looking for?


    Paytm is arguably the most widely used e-wallet service in India and expanding on that success is the natural next step. Paytm has now dove into the app store sector with a bunk of mini-apps that are quick and easy to use. Is it enough to take chunk of pie from Google’s Play Store market monopoly? Let’s find out.

    Paytm customer using it's services
    Courtesy: Inc42

    What are mini-apps?

    Mini-apps are rather mobile-specific web apps that provide a seamless and intuitive experience like an actual application without having to download the actual app completely onto your smartphone. These apps are often made using simple HTML and Javascript techniques.

    Google's Instant Apps are web-apps
    Google took a dig into web based apps with Android Instant Apps. Courtesy: XDA Developrs

    Mini-apps or web-apps are lighter versions of actual apps that are web-based and often are OS independent (i.e. designed to use across Android, iOS, etc alike). This is similar to the Play Store’s Instant Apps, and Apple’s new iOS App Clips.

    Why is Paytm willing to get into it?

    Paytm’s decision to get into the App Store market can be stemmed back to disputes it has been running into with Google.

    Earlier in September, the Company had run into troubles with Google, after promoting sport-based cashback offers that violated Google’s anti-gambling policies. As a result, the app was temporarily taken down from the Play Store.

    Later, we learned that top executives from India’s tech giants were interested in launching India’s own App Store.

    Google Pay VS Paytm: Arch Rivals
    Courtesy: The Make Money Site

    Rising tensions from agitated start-ups against mandatory Google’s Play Billing System surrounding the 30% tax levied on in-app payments have taken a strong turn. Tech giants are strongly opposing Apple and Google’s duopoly in distributing apps and charging developers heavily.

    The company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, has been a key speaker in Google’s unfair business tactics.

    It comes as no surprise hence, that Paytm is willing to facilitate an app store taking advantage of its widespread reach.

    What comes up next?

    The Noida-based company is now arranging a developer’s conference which will provide a detailed insight as to how the fintech company plans to execute this entire operation.

    Paytm has already pulled in reputable apps like McDonald’s, 1Mg, Fasoos amongst others. It is boasting its more than 150 million active users and its plans to promote small businesses and startups.

    Paytm governs a loyal user base
    Paytm is widely used payments app in India

    Paytm has also confirmed that it will let app-developers distribute their apps on Paytm’s Mini-App Store for 0% payment charges for Paytm and UPI transactions. Though it will charge a 2% cut for other modes of payment like credit cards.

    What remains to be seen how the odds stack up and how Paytm’s daring act fares in real world.

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