Digital payments platform Paytm today announced a toll-free number to enable consumers and merchants without an internet connection to pay and receive money instantly and also recharge their mobile phones.
Customers and merchants will need to register their mobile numbers with Paytm and set a four digit Paytm PIN, the company said in a statement.
Nitin Misra, senior vice president, Paytm, said,
They (users) can then enter the recipient's mobile number, amount and their Paytm PIN to successfully transfer the money from their Paytm wallet to another Paytm wallet. We are committed to enabling more and more Indians to transact digitally. The launch of our new toll free payment number (180018001234) is another significant step in that direction. This will allow even non-smartphone users across India to go cashless.
Currently, over a million offline merchants across India accept Paytm as their preferred payment mode, the company claimed.
Paytm has a current user base of over 160 million. The company's investors include Ant Financials (Alipay), Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners, Sapphire Venture, Mediatek and Silicon Valley Bank.
Recently, Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma pledged a fund of Rs 10 crore to build a network of startups that are working towards environmental sustainability in India. In late November, when the firm faced criticism over significant Chinese ownership, Sharma had asserted that the payments and e-commerce platform is “as Indian as Maruti” and prides itself on being a representative of the “India story”. Paytm had hailed the ongoing demonetisation drive with advertisements displaying Prime Minister Narendra Modi's picture, leading many critics to point out that its single largest shareholder is Chinese giant Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce player.