India’s top digital payments firm, Paytm, is betting on Its Own Regional Experience and a deep pool of backers to fuel business growth and fight Away global Competitions in a Fast Expanding market, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
Paytm, which started in 2010, became a household name in the country after a ban on high-value money notes in late 2016 led to a money crunch and resisted using digital payments.
“The battle is not any longer about a single company, it’s all about ecosystem gamers,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm’s parent One97 Communications, told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a private equity and venture capital conference organised by DealStreetAsia.
“If you’ve got a standalone payments company, you definitely have an opportunity in the industry. But there is a bigger game being played in the ecosystem level – there that the earnings becomes made and also the value gets created,” Sharma said on Tuesday.
Paytm, that counts Alibaba Group and SoftBank Group Corp one of its shareholders, is transforming into a financial services start-up using forays in banking, mutual funds and also after insurance. Sharma has also begun an e-commerce venture, on which obligations are driven by Paytm.
Credit Suisse estimated that the value of trades industry-wide to grow five-fold to $1 trillion by 2023.
With 95 million monthly active users, Paytm has been rising by 5 percent to 6 per cent month-on-month. It intends to reach 500 million users 2022, Sharma said.
Paytm has set a goal to boost its offline retailers to 15 million by March 2019, from 9 million now.
“Paytm has become a network effect at the moment,” said Sharma, 40, whose net worth Forbes estimates at $2.2 billion.
As more customers begin using Paytm, more merchants join, spurring additional use, ” he added.
Many Paytm users have bank account, but it’s simplified its own program to reach India’s vast unbanked population, particularly in smaller cities and towns. The program can also be available in about 11 languages.
The Unified Payment Interface (UPI), a state-backed open platform, allows people to send money to each other and straight into bank accounts by linking mobile numbers.
The platform has reshaped the payments arena and Paytm and other mobile wallet firms are incorporating services to retain users.
Sharma stated Paytm had no need to raise additional money.
“There’s an advantage of becoming a private company,” he said. “And we always have funding requirements three decades forward in our own bank. So for three decades, we are sorted.”