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Paytm app removed from Google Play store for policy violation; co says app will be back shortly

New Delhi: Paytm, whose app was removed from Google Play store on Friday for violation of policy on sport betting activities, said the users’ money linked to the accounts is safe and it is working on getting its application restored.

On Friday, Paytm app — which facilitates use of wallet and payments bank services — was removed from the Google Play store.

However, users who already have the app downloaded on their phones would be able to use the services.

“The app was blocked for violation of play policies – a clarification of our policy was released earlier today ahead of the IPL tournament,” Google said in an e-mailed response on Friday.

Google also said only the app availability on its Play store is impacted and there is no impact on users.

When contacted, a Paytm spokesperson said the company had recently launched the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ on its consumer app for users to engage in their passion of cricket and get cashbacks.

“The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and get Paytm Cashback. Cashback is legal in India and we strictly follow all rules and laws of the land.

“Unfortunately, Google believes this to be a violation of its policies and has unlisted the Paytm Android app from the Play Store,” the spokesperson told PTI.

The spokesperson added that the cashback feature has been removed and the app is expected to be back online soon.

“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 said in a blog post.

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. (PTI)

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