The sudden disappearance of Google Pay - the digital wallet platform - from the Play Store has thrown netizens into a state of panic on Monday.
After the government's recent ban on the popular video-sharing app Tik Tok and several others for their apparent links with China, this sudden disappearance of Googe Pay, India's go-to app for all kinds of digital payments, spewed wild theories on social media.
While Google Pay India officials assuaged fears with a tweet saying that this problem was "temporary" and that they were working on fixing it, many were led to wonder if it had anything to do with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)'s recent decision to put a cap transactions for digital platforms.
NPCI is the creator and governing body of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) that facilitates the real-time payment system in India.
Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm are the leading apps for digital payments in India. According to the new rules, these platforms will now be capped for the percentage of total UPI transactions that could be carried out each year.
While each digital platform could maintain 50 per cent of total UPI transactions in its first year of operation, the subsequent years will see this reduced to 40 and 33 per cent. The maximum share of UPI transactions that a digital platform could maintain is 33.
Though NPCI revised the guidelines on July 31, it has been retroactively applied from April onwards.
After the new rules, Google Pay, which enjoys a 42 per cent market share (2019 data), is likely to see the most upheaval. Once it crosses the set limit, users would find it difficult to make UPI transactions and new users will not be able to register/install the app.
This, Onmanorama believes, is the reason why Google Pay has suddenly disappeared from the Play Store.
Chidanand K, well-versed in all things app and technology, said this NPCI move has been designed to ensure that no "technology" company gets to reign in the finance sector.
Neither Google Pay India nor NPCI has released any more details on this regard.
However, the few transactions that Onmanorama staff did between them have all been successful.