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Paytm marketplace plans take shape

Paytm, a leading mobile payments processor company and one of the top four high valued startups in the country, on Tuesday announced its game plan to become an end-to-end marketplace for online merchants.

In an interaction with Deccan Herald, Paytm business vice president Amit Lakhota said the company started off its journey in the payment sector in 2011 with mobile-first concept with its own wallet.

“We started our online merchant service in June 2014. Paytm will be a marketplace where buyers and sellers come and make transactions. Here we already have buyers and we now have merchant sellers on board, with technology that can allow for transactions on a mobile phone,” he said.

He said in its two and a half years of history, it contacted consumers and built good trust on the payment side. “Through our wallet, our consumers started keeping money with us also. Now we have built the marketplace where buyers and sellers come and transact,” he said.

He said eCommerce companies like Flipkart are working on an inventory model where normally 70 per cent of the transactions are CoD (cash on delivery) orders, and they are not true marketplaces. “We are in a unique position where we have gained consumers and are now bringing in merchants. For the merchants, we started building process logistics, delivery, returns, catalogue management, and marketing services. Here it will help them perform well,” he said.

He said consumers are going for CoD because they don’t have cards or do not trust merchants. “In our case, CoD is only 10 per cent, and 90 per cent is pre-paid. This shows they trust us. They keep more money with us and the consumer ticket sizes are growing,” he said.

Paytm wants to bring on board  a million merchants by the end of this year looking into various use cases. “Right now we have 42,000. We want to make it to one million by the end of this year. Here, we have a 30-million active user base out of 70 million customers. And we have 30 million wallet users,” he said. On the advantage of merchants on the Paytm platform, he said, “Here we can give them real-time data on consumer behaviour and help them to bring down prices by showing the use cases. The idea before us is simple: Paytm will become a platform that will take care of the transaction, delivery, logistics. So we give end-to-end services for merchants to grow,” he said.

Besides local players, payment market is now a beehive of activity with Flipkart’s investment in Ngpay and Snapdeal’s acquisition of MartMobi where users can use the app to buy goods and services through their mobile phones. Paytm, run by One97 Communications, is backed by China’s Alibaba Group Holding affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, and Singapore’s Temasek.

-Source:- Deccan Herald

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