Financial services are the next big thing for mobile payments company Paytm, which plans to invest about Rs 5,000 crore in its core business this year, as per media reports.
The company is also aiming to double the number of quarterly transactions from 1 billion per quarter earlier this year to 2 billion per quarter by end of the year.
In financial services, it aims to bring new products to the market. Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that while there was an initial impact of RBI’s KYC requirement with 10-15% fall in transactions in early March, the company recovered the numbers in March and grew again in April.
In an exclusive interview with ET, Sharma talked about the potential threat of WhatsApp Payments and several other future plans.
Paytm’s focus area in 2018
The company intends to invest more money in financial services this year as customer lifecycle is getting to the next level of maturity. It’s a logical extension for them as they had worked on commerce last year like travel and ticketing, where they are only second in the list to the market toppers.
The company would work towards increasing the market size in any category that they have ventured into and not take away market share, as we have shown in payments. Sharma opined that it will take time to build final products since it is a regulated environment where licenses will be key.
Paytm in the lending business
The company has partnered with ICICI Bank to launch post-paid services and will partner with a few others as well. Consumers get a pay-later facility. The most critical thing in this sector is how to collect back the money back as giving loans is easy. This is the reason they have decided to go slow and work with the banks.
On being asked if this move of partnering with banks would yield money, Sharma clarified,
“We believe if a product gets traction, we will make money from it. Internet businesses are built on the core philosophy that if you get traction — the larger number of customers — revenue is inevitably going to be made.”
He explained that if they work with banks and have them disburse large amounts of capital, they will make money and share it for sure.
Paytm and wealth management
Paytm has also ventured into wealth management and is in the final stages of integration with multiple asset management companies (AMCs), according to a top executive of Paytm Money, the wealth management arm of Paytm.
Paytm Money is due to go live as a separate application on the app store. It will start with 12 AMCs and eventually bring in more than 25 after the formal launch. The company has already received initial registrations from interested consumers. According to the initial plans of the company, it is to start with mutual funds, which has seen a huge wave of early adoption across Indian markets. It plans to take the product to places where physical distributors are not present.