Zomato, Swiggy Reprimanded By Google Over In-App Payments

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Food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy have been put on notice by the Google Play Store for implementing in-app payment features, a Business-Standard report states, which go against Google’s guidelines.

The violations come as many apps are trying to bank on the ongoing Indian Premier League and have added gamification features to try and attract customers and boost sales, the report says.

Zomato called the notice “unfair” and said it would be replacing its Zomato Premier League with another program due to the circumstances.

“We believe that the notice is unfair, but we are a small company and have already realigned our business strategy to comply with Google’s guidelines,” the company said, according to the news outlet.

Sources also told Business-Standard that Swiggy had paused the in-app feature and was speaking with Google about the issue, the report says.

Paytm ran into trouble for similar reasons recently, ending up blocked for a few hours from Google’s store for violations of the tech giant’s policy on sports betting activities. It was restored once Paytm removed the cashback feature it had linked to a game on the app. Paytm said it was “arm-twisted” by what it called “unfair” policies that allow Google to establish market dominance, the report says.

Google is said to be working on a plan to crack down on apps not following the Play Store rules, PYMNTS writes. As soon as next week, sources speaking with Bloomberg said Google plans to “clarify” its existing rules, which give Google a 30 percent cut for sales made in its app.

Several Indian startups have raised concern over that policy, and some believe the country needs its own app store for more competition.

Numerous companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Match.com, have shirked the commission through asking customers to pay with a credit card, which bypasses the fee.

And then there’s the case of Epic Games, which was booted off both the Play Store and Apple’s App Store for offering an in-game payment option for the popular ‘Fortnite’ game, which has led to a lawsuit that is still ongoing.

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