Excl: Paytm revamps iOS application; other platforms, website to follow suit

14 Aug, 2012

Recharge site, which enables mobile, DTH and data card recharge online, has been adding a slew of new features stealthily, with the latest one being the revamp of it's iOS application.

Basically revamping its user interface (UI), the new app on the iOS platform is still in the beta mode and would be available for public consumption soon. Recently, Paytm  rolled out mobile postpaid connections' bill payment via its mobile site . The latest addition to its boquet of services has been the smart tag recharges for the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza.

This updated app for iOS is a complete UI revamp and is a precursor to the new design that the company will launch across the rest of their website, Harinder Takhar, CEO, Paytm, told Though the company has apps for all platforms, majority of the business for mobile platform comes from their mobile-enabled portal. The new app is more user-friendly as the homescreen itself lays out the choices for customers whether they want mobile, DTH or data card recharge. The navigation and look and feel have also been spruced up. This is also the precursor to how the portal would look in near future. The Paytm portal would look tad bit more colourful even more easier to use than what it is now. Interestingly, Paytm recently revamped the whole portal and logo in April, which was also its first anniversary.

Talking exclusively to Techcircle, Takhar said there is a marked difference between consumers on iOS platform and other platforms. iOS platform users generally come to Paytm for DTH recharge and the Java mobile app is the popular for mobile recharges. Mobile recharge accounts for 93 per cent of total orders, followed by DTH at six per cent and data card at one per cent.

After starting operations in April 2011, Paytm was incubated by One97 Communications. Paytm works on a mixed business model of earning from operators via commissions and the coupon-model, wherein it gets a commission from the merchant of a particular coupon. Tracing the growth path and go-to-market strategy for us, Takhar commented, "Our strategy is long term and customers are our focus. Currently, 70 per cent of our users are repeat buyers, but we still put all our efforts to try and know why the rest 30 per cent is not coming back. On any given day, we are doing around 60,000 transactions and enjoy a 2.6-million-strong userbase. Our core base is of putting users as our customers, not merchants or operators, unlike other players."

Paytm had crossed the one-million user base mark in November last year. Notably, one of its biggest competitor, Rechargeitnow hit the two million user-base mark last year only.

The online recharge space is brimming with activity as new players start coming in. Recently, e-commerce player started the facility on its portal and Spice Digital also entered space. Paytm condones the focus of competitors using coupons as bait, but the fact remains that it is one of the biggest incentives for customers to go to such portals for a recharge. Most operators have recharge facility on their portals and banks have also now started it now. Mobile recharge may not be a high margin business, with commissions ranging from 2-5 per cent per recharge and a cut for payment gateways on that, but the key is to garner huge customer traction to drive up the volumes. Keep track of this space for more developments in the segment.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)