Within a year of launch, the QR code-based offline payments already contributes around 65 per cent of overall transactions on its platform
Leading m-commerce and mobile wallet company Paytm has announced that it will invest INR 600 crore (about US$90 million) to enable merchants across India for acceptance of digital payments using its QR code-based payment solution.
The company is investing in scaling up manpower, technology, and merchant education so they can transact digitally for the first time and become a part of the formal economy.
The Alibaba-backed company said in a statement that its QR code-based payment solution is already powering more than 5 million merchants, and is used by consumers to pay in their everyday lives at kirana (grocery) stores, tolls, food courts, hospitals and large retail outlets among others. Merchants can use the solution at no additional cost and zero transaction charges.
The company claims it acquires almost a million merchants a month and aims for over 10 million merchants in 650 districts of the country. Within a year of launch of its QR code-based offline payments, it already contributes around 65 per cent of overall transactions on its platform.
Commenting on the development, Kiran Vasireddy, Senior Vice President, Paytm, said, “We are on a mission to democratise digital payments. Our zero per cent 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 crore this calendar year, which will be used for scaling up merchant acquisition teams, marketing and cash-backs. We will have over 10 million merchants on our platform before Dec 2017.”
Paytm has undertaken several initiatives to help the country’s merchants start accepting digital payments at zero fee. The company invited volunteers, who along with its merchant acquisition teams have actively on-boarded 500,000 merchants to date. The QR code-based payments are already used by the healthcare industry, across pathology labs, diagnostic centres, pharmacies and hospitals chains.
The platform is available in 10 regional languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Punjabi.
Paytm is backed by investors including Ant Financial (Alipay), Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners, Sapphire Venture, Mediatek and Silicon Valley Bank. Early this month, Indian media reported that Alibaba is investing up to US$250 more in Paytm to make a formal entry into the Indian B2C e-commerce space. According a recent report, Paytm is in talks for a merger with e-commerce major Snapdeal.
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