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Paytm targets merchants to fight back Google and Walmart in India’s crowded payments field

Paytm today announced two new features for businesses as the financial services firm looks to expand its reach in the nation that has quickly become one of the world’s most crowded and competitive payments markets.
The Noida-headquartered firm, which raised $1 billion in late November, said its app for businesses now features an “all-in-one” QR code system to accept payments from multiple platforms, including mobile wallets (that act as an intermediary between a user and their bank but provide convenience) and those that are powered by UPI, a payments infrastructure built by a coalition of banks that has been widely adopted by the industry players.
Merchants had expressed an interest in having one QR code that could understand any payments app, said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder and chief executive of Paytm’s parent firm One97 Communications. In addition to supporting mobile wallet apps, and UPI-powered payment apps, Paytm’s new QR codes also support payments through popular Rupay cards. “I am sure this QR will accelerate the Digital India mission and make more financial services available to the underserved,” he said.
Merchants can also stick these QR codes on devices such as battery packs and chargers to enable quick transaction from users, Sharma explained at a press conference today.

Bookkeeping for merchants and small businesses


The nation’s highest-valued startup (at around $16 billion) also announced a bookkeeping feature for businesses to help them maintain their daily records. The feature is already rolling out to merchants, Sharma told TechCrunch.
Paytm targets merchants to fight back Google and Walmart in India’s crowded payments field

Dubbed Paytm Business Khata, the feature will help merchants manage payments, record transactions and secure loans and insurance. The service will also enable them to set a reminder for credit transactions, receive an audio alert for new transactions, and send links to their customers to easily pay their dues, said Sharma.
Hundreds of millions of Indians, many in small towns and villages, came online for the first time in the last decade thanks to the proliferation of cheap Android smartphones and the availability of some of the world’s cheapest mobile data plans.
In recent years, millions of merchants and small businesses have also started to accept digital payments and listed them on the web for the first time. But most of them are still offline. Scores of startups and heavily backed firms such as Google, Walmart and Amazon are chasing this untapped market.
Google, which has amassed more than 67 million users on its payments app in India, last year announced a range of offerings to allow businesses to easily start accepting payments online. In the past, the company also launched tools to help mom and pop stores build presence on the web.
A number of startups today, including Bangalore-based Instamojo, Khatabook (which raised $25 million in October last year and counts GGV Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Tencent among its investors) and Lightspeed-backed OkCredit, which raised $67 million in August last year, offer bookkeeping features and allow their consumers to enable easier payment options.
Paytm targets merchants to fight back Google and Walmart in India’s crowded payments field
Google Pay or GPay sticker pasted on the glass of a car in New Delhi India on 18 September 2019 (Photo by Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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