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Paytm to invest Rs 500 Cr to expand offline reach, eyes 6-fold growth in payments

Tarush Bhalla
18th Dec 2017
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Financial and payments services company Paytm on Monday announced its QR codes will now allow offline merchants to accept unlimited payments directly into their bank accounts at zero charge.

Further, having integrated UPI onto the platform, the QR code will also enable Paytm’s merchant base to accept payments through the Paytm wallet, UPI, cards, and net-banking.

Paytm said its 10,000-strong sales team across the country will work closely with in-store merchants while helping store owners understand the benefits of using Paytm QR.

To expand its reach and acceptance, Paytm stated it will invest close to Rs 500 crore in the upcoming calendar year to conduct merchant training and awareness initiatives to expand the reach and acceptance.

Through this initiative, Paytm QR is trying to eliminate the need for having expensive POS machines for merchants.

At present, the company has its offline and in-store use cases across parkings, toll booths, kirana stores, utility, temples, local transport, railway and metros, school and college fee, as well as for challans, among others.

With its focus on payments expansion, it expects to grow Paytm's five million merchant base and is targetting a six-fold growth in offline payments by mid next year.

Speaking on the occasion, Kiran Vasireddy, COO, Paytm, said,

“Today, Paytm is accepted at millions of large retail chains as well as small stores across the country, and we are committed to building the best payments infrastructure for our merchant partners. With Paytm QR, our merchant partners can now accept payments at 0% charge, directly in their bank accounts through multiple payment instruments including UPI and cards. And there is no monthly limit on collecting payments from their customers. We will continue to invest in expanding our payments network till the time every small and large merchant gets the power of mobile payments with Paytm.”

Just last month, the payments major launched its Payments Bank initiative. This move from Paytm to aggressively expand its offline play is almost critical to the company’s growth, and future sales.

Data from these offline merchants and store owners will allow Paytm to extend credit and loan facilities to this base. It might also lead to cross-selling of more products as Paytm plans to ramp up its financial product portfolio.

Moreover, tracking consumers’ transaction history will allow Paytm to cross-sell products (like Gold for Wealth Management and credit) as well.

Just last month, the company kicked off its credit product with ICICI Bank for consumers giving interest-free, short-term credit for everyday commerce use-cases, ranging from movies to bill payments, flights to physical goods. The company has named this product Paytm Postpaid.

At the time of the launch of its Payments Bank, Paytm said it has close to 28 crore (280 million) registered users, 18 crore wallet users, has around 250 crore annual transactions.

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