Paytm and Freecharge have both launched features to let users recharge Google Play Store accounts with their respective apps. Both companies have added an icon on their apps for the Play store, which users can tap to recharge the account.
The minimum amount that can be recharged on Play stands at Rs 100 with the maximum amount capped at Rs 1,500 at a time. It appears that both companies are using Google Play Gift Cards to enable the recharges, although it’s not clear if Google has tied-up with them for the same. Using either platform to recharge provides users with a redeemable code that can be used in Google Play to credit the said amount. Users get the full value of the recharge, as digital gift cards don’t cost anything.
The recharge can then be used to make any payment on Google Play, including for apps, music, books etc. There is however, no way to refund this amount back to a user’s bank account from Google Play, as according to Google’s refund policy, “Refunds can only be issued for gifts which have not been redeemed.” It’s not clear if Freecharge and Paytm will offer refunds for the recharges in case of an accidental purchase.
Interestingly, Paytm and Freecharge adding this feature comes days after Google finally launched carrier billing with Airtel and Vodafone, two of India’s largest telecom operators. This is in addition to Idea Cellular, with which it has had a tie up for a while.
Note that we had said before that it was surprising that given the growth in the wallets business over the last three years – especially in the last year – Google Play Store still hasn’t tied up with any wallet company. With this move, wallets companies seem to have taken to initiative to enable payments rather than Google itself. Either way, the new features should make it significantly easier for users to make purchases on Google Play.