Paytm targets merchants to fight back Google and Walmart in India’s crowded payments field – TechCrunch
Paytm in the present day introduced two new options for companies because the monetary providers agency appears to be like to increase its attain in the nation that has shortly develop into one of many world’s most crowded and aggressive payments markets.
The Noida-headquartered agency, which raised $1 billion in late November, stated its app for companies now options an “all-in-one” QR code system to settle for payments from a number of platforms, together with cell wallets (that act as an middleman between a person and their financial institution however present comfort) and these which are powered by UPI, a payments infrastructure constructed by a coalition of banks that has been extensively adopted by the trade gamers.
Merchants had expressed an curiosity in having one QR code that might perceive any payments app, stated Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder and chief govt of Paytm’s dad or mum agency One97 Communications. In addition to supporting cell pockets apps, and UPI-powered fee apps, Paytm’s new QR codes additionally assist payments by means of fashionable Rupay playing cards. “I am sure this QR will accelerate the Digital India mission and make more financial services available to the underserved,” he stated.
Merchants may also stick these QR codes on units resembling battery packs and chargers to allow fast transaction from customers, Sharma defined at a press convention in the present day.
Bookkeeping for merchants and small companies
The nation’s highest-valued startup (at round $16 billion) additionally introduced a bookkeeping function for companies to assist them preserve their every day information. The function is already rolling out to merchants, Sharma advised TechCrunch.
Dubbed Paytm Business Khata, the function will assist merchants handle payments, document transactions and safe loans and insurance coverage. The service may also allow them to set a reminder for credit score transactions, obtain an audio alert for brand spanking new transactions, and ship hyperlinks to their prospects to simply pay their dues, stated Sharma.
Hundreds of tens of millions of Indians, many in small cities and villages, got here on-line for the primary time in the final decade thanks to the proliferation of low cost Android smartphones and the provision of among the world’s most cost-effective cell information plans.
In latest years, tens of millions of merchants and small companies have additionally began to settle for digital payments and listed them on the net for the primary time. But most of them are nonetheless offline. Scores of startups and closely backed corporations resembling Google, Walmart and Amazon are chasing this untapped market.
Google, which has amassed greater than 67 million customers on its payments app in India, final yr introduced a variety of choices to enable companies to simply begin accepting payments on-line. In the previous, the corporate additionally launched instruments to assist mother and pop shops construct presence on the net.
Various startups in the present day, together with Bangalore-based Instamojo, Khatabook (which raised $25 million in October final yr and counts GGV Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Tencent amongst its buyers) and Lightspeed-backed OkayCredit, which raised $67 million in August final yr, supply bookkeeping options and enable their customers to allow simpler fee choices.
Paytm’s Sharma claimed that his enterprise app has already amassed greater than 10 million service provider customers, a quantity he expects to greater than double by subsequent yr.
The bulletins in the present day illustrate how aggressively Paytm, which as soon as led the cell payments market in India, is increasing its service.
Some critics have cautioned that the agency, which counts SoftBank, Alibaba and T. Rowe Price amongst its key buyers and has raised over $three.three billion to date, is shortly dropping its market share and chasing alternatives that might considerably enhance its bills and losses. According to a number of trade estimates, Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe now lead the cell payments market in India.
Paytm misplaced greater than half a billion dollars in the monetary yr that ended in March 2019. The hassle for the corporate is that there’s presently little cash to be made in the payments market due to among the native pointers set by the federal government.
“The present Paytm’s potential is a pale shadow of its former self. And to keep related, the corporate is getting into new companies (and failing spectacularly in some) at a tempo that exhibits each an absence of readability and urgency. Paytm is caught between a wonderful previous that was constructed on the back of digital payments and a future that doesn’t look something like Jack Ma’s Alibaba, considered one of Paytm’s largest buyers and Sharma’s inspiration,” wrote Ashish Mishra, a long-time journalist, in a scathing put up (paywalled).
Sharma stated in the present day that the corporate plans to supply providers resembling inventory brokerage and insurance coverage brokerage in the approaching months.
At stake is India’s payments market that’s estimated to be price $1 trillion in the subsequent 4 years, up from about $200 billion presently, in accordance to Credit Suisse. And that market is simply going to get extra crowded when WhatsApp, which has amassed over 400 million customers in India, rolls out its payments service to all its customers in the nation in the approaching months.