Paytm warned of job cuts and said it would trim non-core assets after reporting its first sales decline on record, reflecting fallout from a regulatory probe that curtailed much of the fintech’s business.

Once a role model for India’s nascent startup economy, Paytm’s net losses swelled several-fold to ₹550 crore for the three months through March. The company, known as One 97 Communications Ltd, reported a 2.6 per cent slide in revenue to ₹2,200 crore — the first drop since its 2021 stock-market debut. Its shares slid as much as 2 per cent.

Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010, is struggling to recover after a finance watchdog in January ordered a key banking affiliate to wind down. The restrictions dealt a blow to Paytm’s reputation and prompted speculation that customers could defect to rivals such as Walmart Inc’s PhonePe.

On Wednesday, Paytm said it was profitable before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, and before taking employee incentives into account. It warned that revenues should slide further to ₹1,500-1,600 crore in the June quarter, but expected “meaningful improvement” thereafter. The company intended to streamline the organisation, cut employee costs and “prune” non-core businesses, it said in a statement.

Compliance woes

Paytm, which also competes with financial services offered by Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Financial Services Ltd, is trying to put its regulatory issues behind it.

Its shares have lost half of their value since the government ordered Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, which processed transactions for Paytm, to halt its key operations, citing non-compliance. The banking affiliate, known as PPBL, isn’t controlled by Paytm, though it is part of founder and Chief Executive Officer Sharma’s fintech empire.

Sharma has since moved swiftly to steady the ship by forging new partnerships with some of India’s top lenders including Axis Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd and State Bank of India Ltd. The alliances will help Paytm power instant money transfers for customers by linking banks with its fintech app. Paytm previously used its bank affiliate to run its digital wallets and payments traffic.

The firm is also using partner banks for clearing merchant transactions.

Medium-term outlook

Paytm is poised for a strong sales and margin comeback in fiscal 2026 from a past mired in regulatory woes, driven by a long runway and strong user-acquisition funnel from payments. Its share in Indian digital payments, albeit less dominant than Walmart’s PhonePe and Google Pay, could remain steady, helping it reach its 500-million user target. Regulatory woes should ease with a new licence for payments, its bread and butter, with the segment’s margin set to widen on system optimisation and its integrated offerings. Loan, insurance and advertising might catalyse sales for the Ant Financial-backed firm.

On Wednesday, Paytm said it lost about 4 million monthly transacting users during the March quarter. It disbursed ₹5,776 crore in loans, down sharply from ₹15,535 crore in the previous three-month period.

“We expect near-term financial impact to our revenue and profitability, due to disruptions faced in our business in Q4,” Sharma said in a letter to shareholders. “This includes steady state impact due to pausing of PPBL wallet. We had also paused a few other payments and loan products to our customers during the last quarter, and I am happy to share that many such products have been restarted or in the process of starting soon.”