We bring to you the weekly dose of important Indian startup news of the week.
Once again, Paytm was the biggest newsmaker in the Indian startup ecosystem. This week, the Indian startup made three announcements. The company announced that its QR feature now allows offline merchants to accept unlimited payments directly to their bank accounts at 0% charge. The company is gearing up to invest $77.75 Mn (INR 500 Cr) over the next 12 months to conduct merchant training and awareness initiatives.
It also introduced ‘Paytm Loyalty Points’ that can be accumulated by its users and can be used in all platforms and the offline merchant base of Paytm. Furthermore, the digital payments giant is gearing up to add more features to its loyalty programme in the coming few days.
The last development was mainly pertaining to the founder and CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma. He pledged about 5% of his personal holding in Paytm Mall for the ESOP pool. This move would add about $50 Mn worth of stocks to the ESOP corpus, which will then become almost 10% of the overall company. As per regulatory filings for the financial year, 2017, with the Registrar of Companies, Sharma who had over 19% stake in Paytm Mall now owns about 14% stake.
Important Indian Startup Stories Of The Week
Government To Bear MDR Charges On Payments Up To INR 2000
In order to encourage small shops to accept digital payments, the government has decided to bear the charges merchants pay to banks i.e-the merchant discount rate (MDR), on purchases of up to $31(INR 2,000) using a debit card, BHIM or Aadhaar. While the charges for debit cards have been waived, payments by credit card will continue to attract MDR.
UIDAI Temporarily Bans Airtel From For Flouting Aadhaar Rules
Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank, the country’s first payments bank, has been temporarily banned from conducting eKYC of customers using Aadhaar. The stringent action was taken by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on the basis of allegations that the telecom major was using Aadhaar-based SIM verification of customers to open payments bank accounts without their “informed consent”