A few weeks back, When Snapdeal announced big plans for its Freecharge Digital wallet, that could see it not entertaining other mobile wallets on its platform, Paytm asserted it was not a good idea. Paytm has now come up with an idyllic solution to popularise its own wallet, which to be honest was on the cards for some time.
Paytm which competes with mobile wallets CitrusPay, Oxigen and Mobikwik and on the flipside contends with online marketplaces Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, has tied up with ICICI Bank. It will offer its 115 million (and growing as we speak) registered digital wallet users a virtual prepaid card that can be topped up at ICICI Bank branches. The card can be used for online shopping, which includes on rival ecommerce marketplaces who are accepting it. For a nominal fee a physical card can also be obtained for shopping in offline stores.
“It will be a 16-digit, Paytm-ICICI Bank co-branded, virtual prepaid card that can be used at any retail organisation that accepts Visa, MasterCard and Rupay. It will go a long way towards having our wallet accepted across merchants. We don’t need to integrate our payments platform with all merchants, and this, in turn, will give universal access to consumers, who can shop at any establishment that accepts, credit, debit and prepaid cards,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive, Paytm.
- Paytm has 1,00,000 sellers on its platform
- Reportedly records around 2 million transactions daily
- Daily transactions worth Rs. 40 crore, on average
- Targeting 120 million users by the end of 2015
Banks having change of heart?
While banks may have tried to give online wallets the cold shoulder in the past, the newly formed alliance between Paytm and ICICI may cause some of them to change direction in order to stay relevant and not be left out in the cold. Perfect synergy, piggyback marketing, omni-channel approach. Call it what you like. It certainly looks to make good business sense.
“The additional service of loading money into Paytm Wallets at over 4,000 ICICI Bank branches is yet another initiative to popularise the usage of electronic payments in the country,” said Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank.