Recently, more than 150 businesses in India forged an informal coalition to advocate for an Indian app store, expressing concerns over the new 30% cut made mandate in in-app purchases on Play Store by Google. In such a scenario, India's largest digital payments app Paytm announced its own App Store to offer an alternative marketplace for their apps. Dubbed as Paytm Mini App Store, this new platform is currently in-built in the main app.
To recall, Paytm was also among those Indian apps that were removed from Play Store recently. So it is trying to woo the other small businesses on its Mini App Store. This currently has only a few apps listed, and Paytm plans to list more than 300 services.
Paytm Mini App Store Review
The Mini App Store in Paytm hosts links to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) instead of offering native apps and developer tools to launch the regular app. These PWAs are basically light apps that run within a browser without any installation. On Paytm, these apps open within a window as a webpage inside the Paytm app.
To access the Paytm Mini App Store, open Paytm app and on the home page, tap on Show More and then look for Mini App Store from the menu. The next page will show you list of apps that will allow direct access to use, and even make payments through these apps.
As per the Paytm's press release, the Mini App store is designed to help small businesses and app developers in India. So that they can set up low-cost and easy-to-build apps. The app listing will also be free.
Moreover, Paytm has also created a developers dashboard for checking analytics, payments, and various other tools to engage with users. Paytm will also offer free payment avenues including Paytm Wallet & Payments Bank, and UPI.
Paytm App Store is in its beta testing phase as of now. Select users in the country are able to access it. Paytm says it has seen over 12 million visits monthly in September.
The app store has already a handful of apps including AQI Monitor, Domino's, Mojo Pizza, Horoscope, Speedtest, etc.
Paytm says that over 300 apps have already joined the program, and will launch their mini apps soon. These include Decathlon, FreshMenu, Netmeds, Ola, and more.
Business can register for the program here.
Paytm's Developers Conference
After announcing the Mini App Store, Paytm is taking its plans further by hosting a developers conference later this week in India.
Dubbed as Mini Apps Developers Conference (MADC), the conclave will be held on October 8 starting at 11:00 am IST. The conference will see keynote presentation by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO-Paytm and demo of the Mini App Store as well as the roadmap of the project.
Developers can register for the conference from here.
Meanwhile, Google is deferring the enforcement of its new Play Store billing policy in India to April 2022. The company has been otherwise making the new Play Store rule effective globally from September 2021.
It is true that the Paytm's App Store cannot be a real alternative to the Google Play store as of now. The digital payments player will also need an operating system for mobiles to match up to the search engine giant.