Paytm, India’s largest mobile wallet company, expects to lose 20-30% of its offline category customers after March 13, when the Reserve Bank of India takes the limits off from cash withdrawals, founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said on Wednesday in an interview to CNBC TV18.
“If we retain 70% of what we have built, we still have a larger (offline) than online category, and that’s where the business is for us,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma said to CNBC TV18.
Offline transactions are those where the users make payments offline at physical stores using QR code, OTP or mobile-to-mobile transfer, whereas the online transactions are those that are carried out to make payments to online vendors such as phone recharge, online ticket bookings, etc.
Paytm has already seen 15-20% dip in its offline customers in February so far, Sharma said. “This has become a true battle of convenience and value,” he said, adding that as far as cash is concerned, consumers have historical affinity and convenience associated with it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for an increasingly cashless economy, ostensibly to stem the use of unaccounted wealth and keep a better record so as to eventually increase the tax base. It has been promoting more and more digital transactions, following the surprise demonetisation of high-value currency notes on November 8.
Use of digital wallets and payments banks has indeed surged in India, following demonetisation, which sucked out 86% of the currency from circulation, leaving people scrambling for cash to meet their daily needs.
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Paytm – India’s largest mobile wallet by number of users – claims it has over 150 million e-wallet users. Telecom services giant Bharti Airtel, which launched a payments bank earlier this month, already enrolled over one million customers during the pilots.
Sharma said that Paytm is likely to launch its payments bank in the last week of February.
Earlier last week, Sharma had said that its wallet was clocking 8.5 million transactions a day and that the cumulative transaction value had reached Rs 5,000 crore in January, up 12% from December.
Paytm has a target to become a $100 billion company by 2030, Sharma told CNBC TV18 on Wednesday, adding that it plans to topple top e-commerce companies in three years.