Mobile Commerce

Paytm’s Mobile Wallet Poised For $500M Boost

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Alibaba-backed Indian payments startup Paytm has big expectations when it comes to the use of its mobile wallet in 2016.

The company’s founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, revealed a prediction that its customers will add nearly $500 million to Paytm’s mobile wallets next year, representing a tenfold increase to the amount utilized in the mobile wallets of Paytm customers this year, The Economic Times reported yesterday (Dec. 28).

“In 2015, we saw wallets become mainstream. Next year, as more and more businesses push marketing dollar spends to cashbacks and wallets, the recharge value and frequency will steadily increase,” Sharma explained to ET.

The company confirmed it has 110 million wallet users and is reportedly relying on its offline offerings to help boost the transactions that take place in its wallets as well, eventually helping its wallet to become a universal debit card.

“There are about 35 million customers that actively use Paytm at least once a month,” Nitin Misra, head of wallet product pipeline at Paytm, told ET.

“The idea is that if you have a phone, that is all you will need to accept payments,” Misra added. “From rickshawwallas and paanwallas to multi-channel retail chains and brands, Paytm plans to tie up with offline and online stores to push wallet payments.”

Just last month, Paytm announced plans to invest $764 million into an aggressive expansion plan over the next three years to capture the crown as India’s largest eCommerce player.

Fresh off a September funding round that saw it snap up $680 million in funding from Chinese eCommerce mega-player Alibaba and its affiliate, Ant Financial, Paytm clocked in with a $2.5 billion valuation, making it among the most valuable startups in India.

Plans for the funding included upping the number of merchants on the Paytm marketplace from 100,000 today to 1 million by 2018. The firm is also looking to expand its payments service into a full-tilt FinServ outfit with a banking license issued by the Reserve Bank of India. When that is complete, the firm reportedly plans to seek an IPO.

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