Ecommerce and payments platform Paytm has announced its plan to invest about $90 Mn (INR 600 Cr) to expand its QR code-based payment network.
The investment will enable merchants across India for acceptance of digital payments using its QR code based payment solution. The investment will be used to scale up manpower and technology, and to educate merchants about digital transactions.
Commenting on the development, Kiran Vasireddy, Sr. Vice President, Paytm said, “We are on a mission to democratise digital payments. Our 0% merchant transaction fee coupled with an aggressive merchant acquisition rate, will help us take QR code-based payments to every nook and corner of this country. We will invest INR 600 Cr this calendar year, which will be used for scaling up merchant acquisition teams, marketing and cash-backs. We will have over 10 Mn merchants on our platform before December ’17, which also puts us on the right path to build one of the largest payment networks in the world.”
According to a company statement, currently, this payment solution is already powering more than 5 Mn merchants. It is used to pay at kirana stores, tolls, food courts, hospitals and large retail outlets among others.
The company is aiming to acquire over 10 Mn merchants in 650 districts of the country. Within a year of launch the QR code-based offline payments, already contributes around 65% of overall transactions on Paytm.
Paytm has also made its platform available in 10 regional languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Punjabi. Recently it launched a 24×7 Merchant Helpline to assist merchants across India accepting payments using its cashless payment solution.
Paytm has been quietly consolidating its position in the fintech space in the last year. In July 2016, it announced plans to invest an estimated $90 Mn (INR 600 Cr) on marketing for the 2016 financial year. In September 2016, the company said that it was planning to invest $120 Mn- $149Mn to develop its ecommerce business, Paytm E-commerce Pvt. Ltd.
In December 2016, Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications issued a public notice that it would be transferring its wallet business, after necessary approvals, to the newly-incorporated Payments Bank entity.
It was reported that One97 Communications Ltd and its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma have collectively invested $32 Mn (INR 220 Cr), till date, in Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, ahead of its launch that has now been pushed towards early 2017. According to an official statement, Sharma has invested $16 Mn (112 Cr) in the business, while the rest has come from One97. Sharma will hold a 51% stake in the Payment bank, and 49% stake will be held by One97.
This comes at a time when the company finally received permission from the Reserve Bank of India to formally launch the Paytm Payments Bank in January 2017.