Despite the overall fall in digital payments during Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown, digital payments giant Paytm registered 3.5x growth in transactions. Now, the company is planning to venture into stock-broking in the next few weeks, founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma confirmed while speaking at the Global Fintech Fest 2020 on Thursday (July 23).
Sharma noted that payments is the largest revenue source for Paytm making up for a “couple of million-dollar revenues” alone. Paytm has also taken the second spot in terms of ticketing and events business, and is a distant third in ecommerce, he claimed.
“We then started to build our financial services stack with banking and we hope to do lending. We are good in mutual funds and we hope to do stock brokerage which is expected to launch in the next 2-3 weeks,” he added.
Paytm had acquired 100% stake in Mumbai-based private sector general insurer Raheja QBE for INR 568 Cr, earlier this month. Sharma noted that this acquisition will help Paytm expand its lending business in the long run. “If we were to be a large company after 15 years, we should be an incredible insurer. The biggest amounts are held with the insurance companies. In India, Life Insurance Corporation acts as a rescue machine whenever there is capital required or, globally, Berkshire Hathaway to AIA hold large pools of capital available to be deployed,” he added.
Sharma had also spoken about the opportunities in the digital lending segments during and post the lockdown, saying that the companies writing unsecured loans will be the “champions of tomorrow”. He added that Paytm is looking to enable offline mode payments as well.
As for payments, he explained, “Customers who are used to digital are getting engaged deeper and newer customers are coming on the platform…the number of customers who are on the platform and are doing more number of transactions has phenomenally increased…At a week-level, an active customer is doing two transactions.”
Sharma also spoke about the criticism the company had to face over launching recharges, insurance and bill payments, even though there was no revenue in it, but user experience drove customers to the platform. “I look at Paytm as a 10-20-year horizon business and not like a business where we have to flip the cart,” he said.