Walmart-owned digital payments giant PhonePe has launched its developer platform Indus Appstore in India. The company said in a press release that its native Android app store “is designed to fulfill the local and cultural needs of Indian consumers.”
Indus Appstore will allow developers to list their apps in over 12 Indian languages apart from English. PhonePe invites all Android app developers to register and register their apps on the newly launched platform, adding that there will be no registration fee for the first year.
Developers will have to pay a “nominal annual fee” to register their apps after the first free year. The company is trying to attract Android developers by offering various perks such as zero commission on in-app purchases and the ability to integrate a preferred payment gateway within their apps.
PhonePe was founded in 2015 and is currently among the leading players in the Indian payments market with a massive user base of over 450 million. Reports of its Android app store in the making surfaced earlier this year.
Indus Appstore will have a dedicated customer support team in India offering 24*7 assistance to developers via email or chatbot. It will also have a launch pad for startups and app launches, offering better visibility and search optimization for new apps.
PhonePe said its app store will offer a mobile number-based sign-in experience, noting that it is “extremely useful in a market where many consumers don’t even have an email account.” The App Store will help developers adopt best practices by providing real-time analytics, competitor analysis, and deep insights into industry trends.
Akash Dogre, founder and CPO of Indus Appstore, said in a statement:
India is expected to have more than 1 billion smartphone users by 2026, which offers us a huge opportunity to build a native Android app store in the new era. Despite being such a large consumer market, app developers have always had to work with just one app store – Google Playstore – to distribute their apps.
Indus Appstore hopes to provide app developers with a credible alternative to the Google Playstore – one that is more local and offers better app discovery and consumer engagement.
Google, which had a dominant position in the Indian smartphone market and usually charges 15-30% as service fee for in-app purchases, levied by Competition Commission of India (CCI). Among the various changes it agreed to implement, the search giant said it would allow smartphone vendors to license individual apps for pre-installation.