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PhonePe Merchant ATM Network Leaves Walmart Impressed

PhonePe Merchant ATM Network Leaves Walmart Impressed

PhonePe recorded transactions worth $180 Mn overall in the past year

Over 5 Lakh merchants geotagged for cash withdrawal feature

The payments company also entered digital insurance services last month

Digital payments platform PhonePe’s entry into digital ATM business has left parent company Walmart quite impressed. The US-based retail giant is rooting for PhonePe to be “India’s largest transactional platform anchored in payments.”

Speaking post the earnings call, Judith Mckenna, CEO Walmart International, highlighted the performance of PhonePe in the financial year 2020. Walmart’s financial calendar runs from February to January.

Mckenna noted that PhonePe’s had facilitated annual payments worth $180 Bn and had 20 Mn daily users on the platform. Besides that, Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe together own over 90% of the UPI-based transactions market share. 

Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, added that Flipkart and digital payments platform PhonePe’s growth scale has been impressive in the most recent quarter.

Last month, PhonePe had launched an ATM service by collaborating with the neighbourhood stores. “It’s a revolutionary solution with the potential to transform cash in India… If you think about it, there are only two lakh ATMs in India and this service will increase the capability to access cash by nearly five times soon,” Mckenna said. 

So far, the company claims to have over 75K merchants in the Delhi NCR region for a pilot and plans to provide the same facility to other cities soon.

PhonePe is currently on a lookout for 1 Mn merchants on the network to offer cash withdrawal services go the users in exchange for a fee fixed by them. The digital payments company has also geotagged 500K merchants with excess cash. The users can withdraw cash through the “withdraw” button on the PhonePe app.

Vivek Lohcheb, head of offline business developments at PhonePe told ET that the platform is looking to increase merchant engagement by creating value services for both the shop owners and consumers.  The company believes that the ATM feature has set PhonePe apart from other players in the unified payments interface (UPI) transactions such as Google Pay, Paytm and yet-to-launch WhatsApp Payments.

Last month, PhonePe also started offering international travel insurance on its platform, marking its entry into the digital insurance space as well. The company has partnered with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to offer the service to the customers

Gunjan Ghai, head of insurance at PhonePe, noted that the users can get travel insurance cover of up to $1 Mn against a premium of as low as INR 216.