Paytm introduced a fantasy cricket tournament ahead of the debut of the Indian Premier League on September 18, leading to the ban. Google states that online casinos or "unregulated gambling apps" that facilitate betting aren't allowed on the Play Store, and that's the main motive for removing the app.
Paytm is back on the Play Store, but here's a timeline of the events that followed the ban and the eventual reinstatement of the service.
Why did Google ban Paytm from the Play Store?
Google published a blog post shortly after removing Paytm from the Play Store stating that any app that doesn't conform to its gambling policies will be removed. While the blog post doesn't mention Paytm by name, it's clear that the addition of the fantasy cricket tournament led to the app's ban.
We have the same goals for our gambling policy. 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.
We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove 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.
Was Paytm also banned on iOS?
No. It was just Google that has banned Paytm. The app is still available for download from the App Store, so if you're using Paytm on an iPhone, you can continue using the app.
Can I install Paytm if I previously used the app?
Normally, when Google kicks an app off the Play Store, you will still be able to download it if you've installed the app previously from your account. That was the case when the PUBG Mobile ban went into effect in India, with users able to install the game even after it was taken down from the Play Store.
That's not the case here. I tried to install Paytm from my Play Store library, but the app doesn't even show up in there. But with the app back on the Play Store, you can install it as you would any other service.
Can I still use Paytm if I have it installed on my phone?
If you have Paytm currently installed on your phone, you can still make transfers using UPI, add money to your wallet, and more. The app's security isn't in question, but because Google doesn't promote online gambling services on the Play Store, it was banned for a short while.
Is the money in my Paytm wallet safe?
Yes. Although the Paytm app wasn't available for a short while from the Play Store, it didn't affect your wallet. The money that you have in your wallet is intact and the app itself is just as secure as it was a day ago.
Are other Paytm apps affected?
In addition to the main Paytm app, Paytm First Games has also been pulled from the Play Store. Google mentioned in its blog post that continued violations may lead to terminating Google Play Developer accounts, but that isn't the case here.
Paytm is owned by One97 Communications, and the company's publisher page is still active, and other services like Paytm Mall and Paytm Money are available to download. As the issue with Paytm is now fixed, it won't be long before we see Paytm First Games make its return to the Play Store.
Is Paytm back on the Play Store for good?
Paytm is back on the Play Store and you can download the app on your phone. With One97 realizing first-hand just what it entails to run afoul of Google's gambling guidelines, it is likely to be more careful in the future to prevent a similar ban again.
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