Paytm balloons to super app, walks in Flipkart's footsteps

Paytm balloons to super app, walks in Flipkart's footsteps
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
5 Mar, 2019

Paytm-owner One97 Communications has launched a customer loyalty programme called Paytm First comprising offers on its own services such as payments, movies and travel as well as those of others: Zomato, Gaana, Uber and more.

One97 is following in Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart’s footsteps, whose payments arm PhonePe has tie-ups with, among others, OYO, Gaana, Ola, Faasos, Grofers, and Curefit.

This model is inspired by payment-to-messenger super app WeChat, owned by China’s Tencent.

Interestingly, Paytm investor and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is squaring off with Tencent in the East Asian country, through its Alipay, the operator of one of China's top two mobile payment apps.

Back in India, Amazon India has not partnered up with anyone for its customer loyalty programme, Prime, which was launched in the country in 2016, and has come to include Amazon’s video and music streaming services, apart from priority deliveries and special offers.

In the recent past, multiple consumer internet companies have introduced subscription platforms for users such as Zomato’s Gold programme which offers benefits on dining out, Swiggy Super for free delivery of food, and MakeMyTrip Double Black.

Paytm First, priced at Rs 750 a year with an introductory cashback of Rs 100, bundles benefits from multiple brands including Zomato Gold membership, annual memberships for music platform Gaana and streaming platform Sony Liv as well as benefits of Rs 6,000 on ride-hailing app Uber and Rs 2,400 on its food delivery service, UberEats. The programme will also offer unlimited and priority shipping for Paytm Mall users. A statement by the company said that the benefits will go up to Rs 12,000 a year.

“We are very excited to launch our exclusive loyalty programme Paytm First, with sought-after rewards and benefits spanning video and music streaming, food and travel, shopping and lifestyle. We are happy to have partnered with leading players from their respective verticals during the initial launch phase itself and we will continue to expand the Paytm First programme with more benefits and value to our customers,” said Deepak Abbot, senior vice-president at Paytm, in a statement.

The company said that it plans on getting three million customers on the subscription platform for the first year of launch.