How Paytm wants to change the way India spends, online and offline

Paytm aims to move beyond hardware centred digital payments solution, where there’s POS, a merchant, bank and so and so forth

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: March 18, 2016 2:27 am
Paytm, Paytm mobile wallet, mobile wallets, Paytm 2016 plans, Paytm eKYC, Mobikwik, freecharge, eKYC option, tech news, technology Paytm hopes to target more big sale items like flight tickets, which will be launched soon as the eKYC policy gets clearer

Paytm, which claims to be India’s biggest mobile wallet with over 122 million users, has bigger and more ambitious plans for 2016 as the company aims to boost its online and offline presence in India.

The online mobile wallet hopes to target more big sale items like flight tickets, which will be launched soon as the eKYC policy gets clearer. At present, there is a Rs 10,000 monthly wallet limit for non-KYC users on mobile wallets — users can increase this if they get a KYC done with the app through what is now a tedious method. All of this can change once eKYC comes in place for mobile wallets.

“I am optimistic about the regulator. There are a bunch of requirements that are awaited and once that is sorted we hope to start with eKYC on a big scale. Will it happen overnight? Of course not, but we know that by the end of the year things will be clear,” Nitin Misra, Paytm’s VP for Product, told Indianexpress.com.

For Paytm, eKYC without the hassles of a signed form or appointment, which relies straight on the Aadhar API, would mean that consumers can bump up their monthly spending limits. And given how Paytm plans to expand it use cases, beyond just recharges and monthly bill pays, this is crucial.

“Honestly, the current Rs 10,000 limit is nothing. Sure you might say I just use Paytm for Uber or to pay some bills. But we’ve seen customers come on to the platform for different use cases, some of which are for bigger ticket items like buying an Apple Watch. In such a scenario, we need to up the limit and look at eKYC,” adds Misra.

Paytm, in fact, hasn’t remained just a wallet and has gradually morphed into a market place with “170,000 registered sellers”. The company wants to take this number to half a million by the end of this fiscal.

Then there is the offline space. It’s not uncommon these days to spot a Paytm accepted here sticker on an auto or near a petrol pump. Paytm claims to have tied up with 85,000 merchants to allow consumers to pay just via their Paytm wallet. It plans to reach 4 million merchants by the end of the next fiscal.

“Our mission is to move beyond hardware centred digital payments solution, where there’s POS, a merchant, bank and so and so forth. We want to make digital payments seamless so that a user can just take out his phone, either scan a code or share an OTP and just make the payment,” says Misra.

The company is also working on where even feature phones users can receive payments from a customer via a missed call and IVR system. “At toll booths or petrol pumps, we’ve seen that the supervisor might have a smartphone, but his attendants will have a feature phone. Our system would let a customer give a missed call to the number and the attendant gets an inbound call with payment alert, and SMS confirming the same. It’s one of the features we are working on,” said Misra. The app will soon support Hindi as well with other regional languages to follow later on.