Digital payments unicorn Paytm is now targeting 250 million monthly active users on its app.
Noida-based One97 Communications, which operates Paytm, has allocated Rs 750 crore to bolster efforts of roping in new customers and onboarding merchants in small towns and cities, according to a statement issued by Paytm.
The platform aims to help 20 million retail merchants accept payments through the quick response (QR) channel.
“For the next phase of growth, we are actively enquiring and engaging with new users in small cities and towns. We are onboarding new merchants in these cities and supporting them with technology in their native language to accept digital payments. We have also undertaken deals with smartphone manufacturers like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi where users will get the Paytm application built-in. Since 55%-60% of them are first-time smartphone users, we are hoping to capture that section of the market once they get the app,” said Deepak Abbot, senior vice-president, Paytm.
Paytm has estimated that its platform will have had three billion users log in to carry out payments and money transfers in the near future.
Paytm has expanded services to facilitate payments for travel, entertainment, bill payments, mobile recharge, education fees and financial services.
The platform has been working to include payment of government services such as toll tax, electricity and water bills across cities on its platform.
The app has also reported significant growth in its user engagement due to its messaging service Paytm Inbox, a feature which also offers news and cricket score updates.
Earlier this year, Paytm announced plans to invest Rs 250 crore for wider adoption of QR code payments among its merchant base, particularly in tier-4 and tier-5 cities.
In June, Paytm announced it is shifting focus to offline merchant payments in a bid to consolidate leadership it top-tier cities.
That same month, the platform rolled out its artificial intelligence (AI)-based router engine to help merchants achieve a higher payments success rate. Paytm’s engine can also be harnessed by other merchants operating other payment gateways.
One97 Communications was founded in 2000 by Delhi College of Engineering alumnus Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Paytm was launched in 2010. The unicorn has received funding from Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial Services, Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway and Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.