PayTM is taking a step ahead to improve its reach to customers. According to reports, it is planning to establish up to 50,000 retail outlets that will allow over 2.4 crore customers to load cash on their wallet. In addition to this, it is also looking to rope in retail or ‘kirana’ stores as merchants to accept digital payments. The company has also said that it has linked its account to the banking system to allow cash withdrawals from the prepaid account – which will encourage more and more people to take up its offering. Also, customers will be able to easily fund their PayTM accounts, instead of using credit and debit cards that require the transaction cost to be paid to the card issuer. PayTM does not view banks as a fatal competitor though. This is explained by Amit Lakhotia, VP-payments at Paytm, “It is a game of customer experience and whoever does well will succeed. We don’t look at banks as competitors; rather we see them as partners.”
Lakhotia reckons, “For India to move from a cash economy to a cashless one, we need to have a number of places where cash can be converted into electronic form. Until now, the user was able to do wallet-to-wallet transfers. Now, he will be able to transfer funds to the bank as well. Although we want customers to use the wallet for online payments, we expect this facility to boost customer confidence.”
This is a great move by PayTM, especially since these kirana stores could potentially be used to improve their sales as well. This could be done by including PayTM’s online catalog in the store’s offerings, wherein the seller could present PayTM’s products via tablets. For every in-store digital sale made, the kirana owner could be offered a fee. Also, these kirana stores could be used as pick-up and drop-off point which could manage product deliveries and customer returns.
PayTM could very well be the pioneer of a symbiotic digital with brick-and-mortar store helping to sell more and more!