PhonePe is the first UPI app that can be used at Walmart India's B2B stores
Walmart India and Flipkart-owned PhonePe on Monday said they had entered into a partnership to launch PhonePe as a payment option at Walmart India’s 23 Best Price Modern Wholesale ‘B2B Cash & Carry’ stores.
Walmart’s `Best Price' stores cater to the needs of different business customers by providing relevant products and solutions to individual segments. These stores target resellers, including kiranas and electronic outlets along with offices, institutions, hotels, restaurants, and caterers.
The new partnership will allow registered members of Walmart India’s ‘Best Price’ stores to leverage different payment options on the PhonePe app, including Unified Payments Interface (UPI), PhonePe wallet, third-party wallet, credit and debit card.
A 'Best Price' store member checks out with the PhonePe app in Hyderabad.
This partnership makes UPI payments available for the first time at Best Price Cash & Carry stores. Further, the collaboration will not be limited to Walmart India’s stores, but also extend to the retailer’s Best Price online platform and assisted-ordering solutions.
According to PhonePe, this collaboration with Walmart India is expected to accelerate the payment platform’s adoption by kiranas and other small businesses.The company has been aggressively pushing for offline adoption of its platform, since mid-last year.
Announcing the launch, Krish Iyer, President and CEO, Walmart India, said,
“This initiative reiterates our commitment to help kiranas and other small businesses to prosper. The PhonePe payment system will further help our members streamline their business processes. By using PhonePe in our B2B cash-and-carry stores, our members are contributing to India’s growth as an efficient digital economy.”
Just last month, PhonePe had announced that it had one million offline merchants on its platform. A company executive told YourStory that this number had grown by another half a million over the last month.
Commenting on the partnership, Sameer Nigam, CEO and Founder, PhonePe, said,
“We have been working closely with the Walmart India team to deepen our ties, and the launch of PhonePe’s payment solutions in Best Price Stores and on www.bestprice.in, the B2B ecommerce platform, is a step in that direction. With this partnership, we will be able to help these businesses digitise all their payment transactions - from taking payments from consumers to paying at Best Price Stores for their own purchases.”
In October last year, Walmart India said the company would invest close to $500 million to open another 47 stores by 2022, taking the total number of outlets to 70.
A move long due?
PhonePe is a subsidiary of Indian ecommerce behemoth Flipkart, which was acquired by Walmart Inc in May last year. The payments platform first dropped hints of the partnership after the Flipkart acquisition.
While speaking to YourStory, Rahul Chari, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of PhonePe, said at that time,
“…I would be excited to see whether there are opportunities in the offline space where we can accelerate our offline vision. Walmart has a strong focus to bring digitisation for kirana and offline stores, which are a part of its cash-and-carry network. In that, I would be excited to see if there are synergies being explored with PhonePe for digital payments and solutions in the digital space.”
PhonePe was the first financial platform to be acquired by Walmart Inc., which already has a digital payment arm, Walmart Pay.
This means that the retail giant is still learning about digital payments in the country. In an earlier interview, Rahul also added,
“Well, Walmart is learning a lot about payments through PhonePe, and they are excited about the approach and growth we have shown. We are talking, and they have been open to learning more and more about payments.”
Over the last two quarters, PhonePe has been aggressively working to launch newer offerings on its platform. In November last year, the company launched its wealth management platform, PhonePe Wealth Services Pvt. Ltd.
The company is looking to release tailored products around mutual funds and insurance on its platform, in the next six months. It is also building its CRM solution, the PhonePe for Business app, which will allow offline merchants to get a digital view of their earnings and, in the future, even allow them to avail of other services, like credit and insurance.