1. Paytm resumes PoS service; rules out rate war at payments bank

Paytm resumes PoS service; rules out rate war at payments bank

Online payments company Paytm has gone live with its point-of-sale (PoS) offering again, Founder and Chief Executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma today said, two days after taking the service off due to security concerns.

By: | Mumbai | Published: November 26, 2016 6:38 PM
paytm-reu-1 Sharma said the company had to introduce a “few more features” before relaunching the facility, which is aimed at eliminating the need to have a swipe machine and can operate only with a mobile phone. (Source: Reuters)

Online payments company Paytm has gone live with its point-of-sale (PoS) offering again, Founder and Chief Executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma today said, two days after taking the service off due to security concerns. Sharma also hinted he will not join an interest rate war with its payments bank offering, which is likely to be launched next month.

“You would be surprised, it is back in the App stores,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the ‘Ascent’ conclave for entrepreneurs, launched by Marico Chairman Harsh Mariwala for start-ups. Sharma replied in the affirmative when asked to confirm again if the facility is indeed live.

He asserted that the security risks which the PoS offering poses are the same as the card’s use at a physical merchant where the card details can be copied. Sharma said the company had to introduce a “few more features” before relaunching the facility, which is aimed at eliminating the need to have a swipe machine and can operate only with a mobile phone.

“After our launch, we have had several discussions with stakeholders on how we can make this process even more secure. Based on some suggestions from the industry, we have decided to add additional certifications and features before making it available to merchants,” the company had said at the time of withdrawing the facility.

“We will re-launch this product as soon as we update it. We are working closely with everyone in the cards ecosystem,” it had added.

Stating that the launch was in line with Paytm’s focus on an infrastructure-light, simple, scalable and affordable model, it had clarified the company did not store any card details on the app or on its servers.

According to some reports, entering of card details into the merchant’s phone and existing norms on ‘cardpresent’ transactions were two of the most critical concerns. Sharma today said his company launched the product looking at the opportunity to scale up because Paytm has only 16 crore users as against 55 crore card holders. Meanwhile, on the payments bank, he said application for the final licence has already been submitted to RBI and the company hopes to go live before the year-end.

“We have had interactions with the regulator and are hopeful it should come really soon,” he said, adding the company wants to seize the opportunity created by the demonetisation exercise. “We probably have synced up on most of the topics. Logically, it should not be many more things,” he said.

Sharma, however, said the company will not join the rate war, after Airtel’s 7.25 per cent interest rate offering for account holders. “None of our products are driven by anything that anybody else does. I do not know the interest rates of my rivals. But I don’t think our product is built around the interest rate,” Sharma maintained.

The Paytm founder said his payments bank will roll out with 5,00,000 touch-points and scale it up to 1 million in a year, by which time it targets to have 100 million accounts. This number will more than double in the second year, helping Paytm cross the number of accounts with the country’s largest lender SBI, which is over two centuries old, he said. Sharma said by 2020, the target is to have 50 crore Paytm Bank accounts.

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