Paytm, India’s leading digital payments ecosystem and fintech company, has launched the Paytm Mini App Store for Indian developers to reach out to its 150+ million monthly users and showcase their innovative and useful products. 

Mini apps are special websites built to give users the same experience of using an app without downloading it.

Here’s the logic and the specifics behind the idea.

  • Small businesses and developers can set up low-cost mini-apps using HTML and JavaScript.
  • It aims to drive the local Indian app store in alignment with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission so that India can create its own technology ecosystem and keep the digital spending within India.
  • Paytm has pledged to invest Rs 10 crore for Paytm Mini App Store developers.
  • This bold move by Paytm comes in the wake of Google’s Play Store policies. In September, Google had blocked Paytm from the Play Store for violating its policies on sports betting and later reinstated Paytm back on the Play Store after they removed the cashback feature. 
  • Google explained on its blog, “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.”
  • Paytm is also of the opinion that some of Google’s policies are biased to create its own monopoly. The company doesn’t support the idea that developers have to use Google’s billing system as a mandate and that developers/app makers have to pay a percentage of the fee to Google for in-app purchases.
  • Developers can list and distribute their mini-apps on the Paytm app without any charges/fees.
  • Paytm already offers direct access to 300+ app-based service providers like Decathalon, Ola, Park+, Rapido, Netmeds, 1MG, Domino’s Pizza, FreshMenu, and NoBroker.
  • Paytm intends to support young Indian digital entrepreneurs, start-ups, and software developers to find a market to launch exciting, innovative mini-apps and eventually be able to control the Indian app ecosystem.
  • Paytm intends to support 1 million apps on its Android mini store before Google can charge developers’ mandatory collection fees. Google charges 30% commission, a policy that many companies and app developers find unfair and forceful.
  • The Paytm Android Mini App store comes with a developer dashboard, analytics, payment collection, and a host of marketing tools for developers to engage and immerse users.
  • The payment methods that developers can offer to their users include Paytm Wallet, Paytm Payments Bank, UPI, net-banking, and Cards. These will not be charged by Paytm except there will be a “2% charge for other instruments like credit cards/net banking”. For Visa Debit Card, the charges are 0.4% capped to ₹200 per transaction, 0.9% capped to ₹1000 per transaction.
  • Paytm blog post has declared that “This app store has been running in beta with select users and witnessed over 12 million visits in the month of September.”
  • This service aims to tap into Paytm’s 450+ million users who contribute to 700+ million monthly merchant transactions.
  • No matter what sector your business operates in, business owners can use your existing mobile website or web app to integrate with Paytm’s Mini App Platform with easy steps.
  • When a user performs a Paytm homepage search, they directly arrive on the developer/business owner’s platform by simply searching for the brand name.
  • Those businesses and apps listed on the Android Mini Store can send push notifications through the Paytm App to keep users posted about new products and services and the order status.
  • Another enriching feature of the platform is that businesses can use Paytm’s intelligent user profile engine to target users’ right set.
  • Developers can automatically collect recurring payments from their users based on the user’s subscription plan.
  • According to Paytm’s website, two developers can complete the integration of their web app in just two weeks. 

Paytm’s foray into this new venture has all the ingredients for a great Indian success story. It would be interesting to see how the Paytm Android Mini Store grows and captures the market.