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Céline Delacharlerie
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The Paytm payments app, valued at over $10 billion, is on track to become the Indian Super App

Founded in 2010, it has rapidly grown to become an India-based telephone payment SuperApp, now valued at over $10 billion. This SuperApp sees more than 1.2 billion transactions per month, which represents more than 35% of all digital financial transactions made in India.

More recently, Paytm has even launched its own bank, “Paytm Payments Bank”, which focuses on more complex financial services.

Paytm follows the same model as WeChat and Alipay, the Chinese Super Apps, especially since it received significant investments from the Alibaba group in 2015. Alibaba invested $680 million in One97 Communications, Paytm’s largest shareholder, to replicate its model abroad and access a new market for its e-commerce. The app launched its QR code to facilitate in-store payments in 2016, similar to what Alipay offers.  It then expanded its services.

Paytm offers all kinds of shopping possibilities: train tickets, movie tickets, and even its own e-commerce site Paytm Mall…. On top of that, the app also brings together features that make everyday life much simpler. For example, you can pay your water and electricity bills with the app in one click.

Paytm is not alone in wanting to become the Indian Super Payment App, but has managed to stand out from its competitors like Mobikwik or PhonePe thanks to this diversification strategy.

SuperApps from the West also tried to become the leading SuperApp in India. For example, Whatsapp launched Whatsapp Pay, which only works in India and Brazil. Whatsapp also plans to add the option to purchase insurance, savings plans and other financial solutions. Despite his efforts, Whatsapp failed to beat Paytm in popularity.

Paytm is a concrete example of the internationalization strategy of the two Chinese giants Alibaba and Tencent, who, after realizing that their respective apps would not be exported, chose to invest in high-potential payment apps in various countries.  In France, for example, Tencent invested $45 million in early 2020 in Lydia, an app on track to become the French SuperApp?

Why use Paytm?

Pay in store with the app

If the seller also uses Paytm, it is possible to pay for his purchases in the app by scanning a QR code or by having the phone number of the merchant. The money is paid to the seller from your personal bank account, or from your Paytm account. This process allows you to buy what you want using just your phone.

Purchase items on Paytm Mall

Paytm Mall is the e-commerce platform of this application. This marketplace offers a wide variety of products: electronics, food, clothing, etc. The e-commerce platform can be compared to Amazon or Alibaba. When you buy a product, you pay directly through the app. No need to fill in his banking details, in one click, the customer becomes a consumer.

Transfer money

Just like the Lydia and Cashapp applications, Paytm offers a system for transferring money from one bank account to another without going through bank transfers. You can send money instantly at any time of the day and even on weekends.

Reload your mobile plan

One of the oldest services of the app is that of being able to reload its mobile plan. No need to move or call your operator, simply access the Paytm app and reload your plan with the desired amount. The money comes out of the bank account already registered in the app so there is no need to enter its details.

Pay your bills

With Paytm it is possible to pay its bills if your service has an agreement with the application. All types of bills can be paid: electricity, gas, television channels, credit cards, housing tax, etc. Money from the registered bank account is transferred to the designated department.

Buy digital gold

Paytm allows you to buy virtual gold. It is possible to buy gold in grams or rupees at a price as low as 0.001 grams or 1 rupee (the equivalent of 0.01 euro cents). Gold is 24 carats with a purity of 99.99% and its price remains faithful to that of real gold. You can, whenever you want, turn your digital gold into real gold that is delivered to you in the form of gold coins.

Taking care of your finances

Paytm offers a variety of services in finance. You can pay off a loan, invest in mutual funds, pay for your insurance and use a Paytm bank card for contactless payments. This Paytm card is powered by Citi Bank. It is possible to open a savings account with Paytm which collects an interest rate of 4% annually.

Buy tickets

Paytm offers a service that allows you to buy movie tickets. You can choose your favourite cinema, the movie you like and buy your seat; all via the app. In addition, it is possible to buy bus, train and plane tickets for those who travel. Travelers can even book a hotel room with Paytm.

Play video games

Several types of video games are available with Paytm. These games are played on the phone and allow players to earn money that is added directly into their virtual “wallet” in the app. The games range from card games to strategy games and games of chance.

Céline Delacharlerie
Celine is the correspondent of the Echangeur in China. On the lookout for retail innovations, she identifies and analyzes the latest retail and consumer trends in Asia.
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