Wallet utilisation, commissions prop up Paytm Payments Bank’s FY18 revenues

Wallet utilisation, commissions prop up Paytm Payments Bank’s FY18 revenues
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Paytm Payments Bank closed the financial year ended March 2018 with gross revenues at Rs 721.96 crore and net losses at Rs 20.71 crore, filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs showed.

The payments bank came into being in 2016 when One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of digital wallet Paytm, spun out its ecommerce and payments businesses under Paytm Ecommerce and Paytm Payments Bank respectively. The digital wallet, Paytm, is now a part of the payments bank. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of One97 Communications, owns 51% of the payments bank while the remainder is held by One97.

It formally commenced operations in August 2016 and the period between April and March 2018 represents its first full financial year of operations. The gross revenues reported for this period included income earned through interest at Rs 67.25 crore and other income at Rs 654.70 crore. Other income, which accounted for nearly 90% of the gross revenues, primarily included income earned through commissions, exchanges and brokerages, including income earned from wallet utilisation.

Gross expenses during the year stood at Rs 742.67 crore and this was primarily on account of operating expenses at Rs 736.89 crore, which accounted for nearly 99% of the total expenditure incurred by the entity. Within operating expenses, ‘other expenditure’, which also included payment gateway charges accounted for the single largest expense head at Rs 662.50 crore, accounting for 90%.

Queries emailed to Paytm Payments Bank seeking comments on the financial performance of the entity did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.

Incidentally, the payments bank was under regulatory scrutiny this year after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed it to temporarily stop registering new customers following an evaluation of its Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and data security measures. In October this year, it announced the appointment of former product chief at NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) Satish Kumar Gupta as its managing director and chief executive officer. The appointment came three months after Paytm said that Renu Satti had stepped down as the chief executive of Paytm Payments Bank to head the group’s new retail segment as chief operating officer.