India’s national currency, the rupee, has endured a turbulent couple of decades. It was devalued a great deal in 1999, hit by the 2008 global financial crisis, depreciated in 2013, demonetised in 2016, and further depreciated in 2018. As such, it’s understandable that one of the fastest-growing trends across the 1.3 billion-person nation is online-based banking and payments.
One of the market leaders in this increasingly crowded space is the home-grown tech company Paytm. The fully-licensed digital bank offers a huge range of payment options, from its services to its application. So, what’s helping Paytm establish itself in India amidst an ocean of big-name foreign companies, and where are Indians making use of the payment tech?
Heavily-backed Indian start-up finding its audience
Founded in 2010 and based in Uttar Pradesh, Paytm started as a DTH recharge platform and prepaid mobile. Over the years, it has developed to offer landline bill payments, data cards, postpaid mobile payments, ticketing, QR code transactions, an eWallet service, and a method of purchasing pure gold. It made headlines as India’s highest-valued start-up, but the scene quickly became very competitive.
It didn’t take long for massive foreign companies to recognise the potential of India’s massive, ever-growing mobile market and the audience’s willingness to adopt smartphone technologies. Where Paytm once dominated, all of a sudden, names like WhatsApp, Facebook, PhonePe (by Walmart), and Google were all weighing-in with massive financial backing to take a slice of the market.
In late 2019, Paytm managed to secure $1 billion in new financing to help the adaptable payment method to compete against the big-money American companies. It’s been noted that the critical aspect that set Paytm back from its early hot streak was its lack of a unified payment interface (UPI). While these UPI-enabled payments have now been integrated, other companies that moved in quicker were able to make significant ground.
Now able to compete on the UPI front, Paytm continues to grow in its popularity among consumers and merchants. Over 17 million merchants across the country utilise the Paytm All-in-One QR system, enabling customers to pay via the eWallet app. They have also recently launched Payout Links, which enable instant payment processing without collecting bank details.
Said to have seen its digital gold transactions double through the second-half of 2020, and also stand as India’s top issuer of FASTags – via the Paytm Wallet – the Indian payment method continues to appeal to its audience through the vast range of payment options available. Being a fully-licensed digital bank, Paytm’s operations are proving to be stable and reliable, giving owners confidence in the long-term battle ahead.
India is an exciting market in the modern era of globalisation due to the rapid adoption of internet-connected and online-based technologies, as well as its vast population. The once closed-off market is now very much an open market, welcoming companies from abroad, with the competition inspiring the creation of better and more customer-friendly products.
In May of last year, it was reported that Paytm had 30 million transacting users, but that Google Pay led the market with 75 million. However, Paytm’s history of identifying and expanding into key areas and Google’s operational validity being examined by the Delhi High Court should result in the Indian provider closing the gap on the internet behemoth, which has used heavy marketing and cashback to build its lead.
Expansive offering for businesses and consumers
As detailed above, Paytm has expanded its service in an attempt to cover about every monetary transaction need of its home audience. One of its main focuses is on the small and medium businesses of India. This makes up the majority, with there being some 95 micro businesses for every five medium-to-large ones. To enhance their ability to take payments, the Paytm Payment Gateway offers every mode, including the Paytm Wallet, back accounts via UPI, net banking, Paytm Postpaid, net banking, debit and credit cards, and EMI options.
Claiming to have over 150 million users, Paytm customers can be used for the most common needs, such as metro cards, phone bills, utilities, and travel tickets, but it has also adapted to grant access to new sectors. The rise of smartphones and internet connectivity has unlocked India to the world of online casino gaming and sports betting. Now, it’s possible to partake in betting online with Paytm as it facilitates safe, convenient deposits to the gaming platforms. The Paytm UPI option also allows for even faster payments for play. The website also has supplementary guides about withdrawing and depositing funds and a FAQ section too.
While the convenience of online payment systems like Paytm is key to their ongoing successes around the world, security is the most important factor. The Indian start-up boasts a tremendous amount of credibility through its standing as a licensed digital bank. However, it further enhances the security offered to its clients by employing 128-bit encryption technology as well as a PCI DSS 2.0-certified platform.