Paytm has been one of those companies which keeps on rolling out something new every other day. What started as a recharge portal in 2010, has now resonated into a bigger conglomerate of services. Even though it now has an eCommerce marketplace among its list of offerings, its still most popular because of its wallet which it has integrated with several other companies. In order to blur the differences in the online and offline shopping experiences on different fronts the firm is taking different steps.
Paytm Adds QR Code Option to its App
To further enhance the user experience and drive acceptance of digital payments, Paytm has introduced a QR code-based payment option in its Paytm Wallet app. This feature will enable any shopkeeper or service provider with a Paytm account to receive payments after scanning a QR code.
A QR (Quick Response) code is a matrix bar code – a machine-readable label that contains information. In the case of the pre-printed QR codes, the only information it will contain is the Paytm account details of the merchants. After scanning the QR code, the buyer has to merely enter the payment amount and approve the payment.
The QR code option will allow basic service providers such as kirana stores, auto-rickshaws and others to carry a laminated QR code of their account and receive payment even without a data connection. They will receive a transaction confirmation through SMS. Merchants will also be able to generate dynamic QR codes which will contain the amount to be paid as well, in addition to merchant’s Paytm details.
At present, Pizza Hut, KFC, Costa Coffee accept payments through the Paytm app among others. However, the present method requires generation of a one-time password after the customer’s mobile number is received.
On the addition of the new capability, Nitin Misra, Vice President – Payment Products, said, “The existing 10,000 merchants, who enable top-up of Paytm wallets with cash, will also be encouraged to start accepting QR code-based payments as many of them are kirana stores. Shortly, we will also launch a payment merchant application that will give retailers a wider range of functionality”.
Paytm’s Hyperlocal Business
Paytm has announced its plan to roll out its hyperlocal business which is expected to account for 50% of its total sales via this channel by end of next year. The hyperlocal segment will initially focus on food ordering, table booking, cinema tickets, and deals in the neighbourhood. To offer these services, the company has entered into partnerships with companies including BookMyShow and Zomato among others for delivery of its O2O services.
Going forward, its hyperlocal services such as tickets, deals and food ordering will be integrated within the Paytm wallet app where products such as electronics and apparel will be offered on the shopping app. The company has already launched an initiative called Fastest Expert Delivery (FED) in partnership with The Mobile Store to deliver mobile phones within two hours. Under this program, customers can order the handset of their choice on Paytm and The MobileStore will complete the user experience.
The MobileStore currently has over 550 shops across 100 cities in India. This initiative with Paytm will cover 465 stores in 72 cities and offer consumers the blend of online and offline retail.
Effectively Paytm is not only competing with eCommerce and mobile wallet companies, but also with upcoming hyperlocal eCommerce startups as well.