India’s top digital payments Company, Paytm, is Gambling on Its Own local expertise and a deep pool of backers to fuel business growth and fight off global rivals in a rapidly Expanding market, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
Paytm, which started in 2010, became a household name in the nation following a ban on high-value currency notes late 2016 led to a money crunch and spurred the use of electronic payments.Paytm Bets on Local Expertise to Fend Off Rivals

“The fight is not any longer about one company, it’s all about ecosystem players,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, creator of Paytm’s parent One97 Communications, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a private equity and venture capital conference organised by DealStreetAsia.

“If you have a standalone payments company, you definitely have an opportunity on the industry. But there’s a larger game being played at the ecosystem level – there that the earnings becomes made or the value gets created,” Sharma said on Tuesday.

Paytm, which counts Alibaba Group and SoftBank Group Corp among its investors, is changing into a financial services start-up using forays in banking, mutual funds and also later insurance. Sharma has also begun an e-commerce venture, on which obligations are pushed by Paytm.

Paytm competes with Alphabet’s Google Pay and faces an expected launch by Facebook’s Whatsapp in India’s digital payments industry.

Credit Suisse estimated the value of trades industry-wide to increase five-fold to $1 trillion by 2023.

With 95 million active users, Paytm has been growing by 5 percent to 6 per cent month-on-month. It intends to reach 500 million consumers 2022, Sharma said.

“Paytm has become a network impact right now,” said Sharma, 40, whose net worth Forbes quotes at $2.2 billion.

As more customers begin using Paytm, more retailers join, spurring further use, he added.

Many Paytm users have bank accounts, but it’s simplified its own program to reach India’s vast unbanked population, especially in smaller towns and cities. The app can also be available in roughly 11 languages.

The Unified Payment Interface (UPI), a state-backed open stage, allows people to send money to each other and directly into bank account by connecting mobile numbers.

The system has reshaped the obligations arena and Paytm and other mobile wallet companies are incorporating services to retain users.

Last month, Berkshire Hathaway Inc united as an investor in a deal that valued Paytm at greater than $10 billion, press said.

Sharma said Paytm had no need to raise additional funds.

“There’s an advantage of being a private company,” he said. “And we always have funding requirements three decades forward in our bank. So for three decades, we’re sorted.”

© Thomson Reuters 2018


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