ECommerce platform Paytm is joining forces with Alibaba to help Indian merchants source nearly 5 million products via cross-border commerce at a lower rate.
The new program, ETtech.com reported on Monday (June 27), is aimed at helping at least 10,000 merchants by the end of 2016 and giving them access to products from China and other countries. Not only will cheaper rates for cross-border commerce be included, but merchants will also receive help with logistics and payments.
"Inventory is the third pillar of commerce, after logistics and payments, which requires optimization in India," Bhushan Patil, head of the initiative for Paytm, told Etech.com.
Roughly 25 to 30 Indian merchants have already been selected to participate in the program, with a focus on scaling B2C commerce business and helping merchants to source effectively and receive improved margins.
Paytm sellers are still approved to sell on other marketplace platforms as well, including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and ShopClues.
"We expect the Indian SME's cost to come down three times with our direct connect," Patil explained.
"Most SMEs don't import directly, they import from local distributors, and there may be 2-3 steps shuffling, we connect directly. We also offer bonded warehousing facilities, leveraging our tie-ups with import houses and trusted payments with our partnership with Citibank, which further reduces costs at scale."
Just weeks ago, Paytm had to issue a clarification for its mobile wallet usage overseas.
Though the startup recently announced its wallet users will be able to pay for Uber rides overseas in Indian rupees, it later clarified that this will be possible through a tie-up with Alipay.
By integrating with Alipay, the current Paytm semi-closed wallet will not be directly used for cross-border transactions as the wallet can only be used in India.