Money & Banking

Paytm to expand operations in rural areas, smaller towns

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 27, 2018

Amit Veer, Vice-President, Paytm

Looks to rope in 1 crore new merchants this year

SoftBank and Alibaba-backed digital financial services company Paytm will look to rope in one crore new merchants in the course of this year through its QR-based payment solutions. The focus will primarily be on expanding into rural India and Tier-II and Tier-III towns.

The QR-based solution will allow merchants to accept unlimited payments directly into their bank accounts at no charge. The average transaction value per offline merchant is around ₹500.

Merchants that the company is targeting are offline players that include kirana stores, neighbourhood shops and even smaller outlets. Public transport operators are also being targeted as a part of the programme.

According to Amit Veer, Vice-President – Paytm, the company will invest ₹500 crore to create awareness and scale up operations across India. “We will invest ₹500 crore towards bringing an additional one crore merchants on board through our QR-based payment solution,” he told BusinessLine.

According to him, the eastern region should “grow faster” in this phase because of its high proliferation of rural and smaller towns.

Paytm already has over 60 lakh merchants on board and with new additions the number is expected to be 1.60 crore.

Nearly 65-70 per cent of these merchants are active that is they have transacted at least once in the last three months.

Target merchants

While shopkeepers have been the obvious targets for e-wallet players, Paytm intends to go a step further and add public transport operators to its merchant-base.

According to Veer, the company is already talking to many transport unions to bring on board e-rickshaw operators. It is also in talks with State government-run bus services to bring such operators on board.

Omni-channel strategy

Paytm also plans an omni-channel strategy where some of the offline stores are also sellers on its ‘Paytm Mall’.

The company has a customer base of 300 million. Post-demonetisation, the company has seen a quantum jump in daily transactions.

While it had around 70 lakh transactions a day during the peak demonetisation period, its current daily transactions stand at one crore.

Published on January 25, 2018

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