As PayPal reaches saturation points in Western markets, it wants to continue to expand internationally, especially in India, where the country’s 450 million mobile users make it an attractive target for retailers.
The Financial Times is reporting that PayPal launched a domestic business in India in 2017, which allows for local and global payments in the country. PayPal considers the country critical to its growth.
“India is critically important,” said Sri Shivananda, chief technology officer at PayPal. “We look at regions and then there are countries of importance … India currently is an area of focus.”
PayPal wants to overcome one of the biggest obstacles facing tech companies in India, which is people going through the multiple-step process of ordering an item but stopping before they hit the buy button. PayPal said it has developed a new one-click option to combat this problem.
PayPal is also looking to hire more people in the country as well as searching for potential acquisitions. The company also invested $125 million into Indian POS terminal company Pine Labs.
India is expecting a boon in digital transactions, as the Reserve Bank of India said it expects online payment participation to go up from 100 million users to 300 million over the next three years. PayPal faces some challenges though.
It’s not the first payments company in the country, and it has a lot of catching up to do.
Both Chinese and U.S. investors have also focused on India. Paytm, a venture supported by eCommerce giant Alibaba, and PhonePe, owned by Walmart, have both been growing at a fine clip in the country, and are using things like cash-back offers to fuel growth. And even those firms have to compete with the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook’s WhatsApp.
PayPal India Managing Director Anupam Pahuja said PayPal is growing rapidly with small businesses, as well as freelancers and manufacturers, not only in big cities like New Delhi but third-tier cities as well. It said it will also look into acquisitions as a way to help growth.
“If it makes sense from a business perspective we will do so,” Pahuja said. “India is a big market. We are just getting started.”