From cash obsessed economy to digital economy, India is going through a transformational phase. Government has introduced various progressive regulatory policies and the same can be validated by statistics showing significant increase in the number of internet users in India
Paytm has immensely contributed in the growth of digital economy in India. The startup unicorn now serves merchants in a little over 650 districts and 2000 cities and towns in India.
According to the company, Paytm Payment Bank has around 50 million accounts and it is among the few mandated by the ministry of electronics and information technology to drive the highest targets for merchant acquisition and digital transactions.
It's financial services firm, Paytm Money, is now one of the largest contributors of new Systematic Investment Plans to the mutual funds segment. It has already received approval to launch stock broking, dematerialization services and National Pension System services.
The company is also making efforts to enter and expand in geographies beyond India. Recently, Paytm has launched its services in Canadian markets. However, it is important to understand that in India the company does not only market its e-payment services, instead, it sells the need to make payments — to buy gold, pay school fees, utility bills, toll taxes, traffic tickets etc. It is critical to analyse that these needs will differ depending on the geography and location.
Expanding the reach of its financial services seems the focus area for the company and its backers. The primary business model of Paytm is merchant payments and the larger part of the funds are planned to be spent there.
1) Recently, in a mega funding round, Paytm has raised Rs.7,200 crore at a valuation of $16 billion, from existing shareholders Ant Financial, Softbank Vision Fund and new investors, including funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price Associates. Among others. Discovery Capital, an existing shareholder, also participated in the round. Paytm plans to invest Rs.10000 crore over the next three years, with the stated aim of expanding its services in tier-III cities and smaller towns.
2) Paytm First Games has raised $20 million from AGTech & One97 Communications Limited (which owns Paytm) for further expansion. This fund-raise will support the company’s ambition to scale its operations, invest in technology and further expand its user-base through various marketing activities. In the last six months, Paytm has launched several games across different genres and the response has been encouraging.
3) Paytm is now going to launch Stock broking
4) To get an entry into new geography beyond India, Paytm is entering Canada. Paytm currently has 100,000 Canadian customers, according to the company. Company’s plan is to bring on board 30 per cent of Canadian consumers who do not make bill payments digitally.
5) Paytm will undertake digital distribution of general insurance products.
6) IoT focus- Company now plans to add a host of Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the mix, enabling small merchants in towns to accept digital payment. These IoT-based devices will enable QR payments, card payments.
We live in a world, which is hyper-connected via internet. India is expected to witness significant increase in number of IoT devices to 2.7 billion units by 2020. While the connected world opens opportunities for consumers, merchants and banks, cyber-criminals are also not far behind. They are always looking for vulnerabilities in the digital networks, to en-cash on the opportunities.
Hence, it is extremely important that apart from the expansion plans, Paytm also strikes a balance between stretching its boundaries to potential users and ensuring security of the existing users’ confidential data. We hope that Paytm, as part of its growth plans, also utilizes a good share of funds in fighting against the menace of cyber-crime and making the entire digital chain secure.