IAMAI Summit: 2021 onwards, every payments business will focus on profitability, says Vijay Shekhar Sharma

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Updated: January 19, 2021 2:46 PM

"Competition in payments is getting mature and when you see challengers, they all will find what is it they stand for. Payment is so fundamental as a business that it will inevitably have n number of players,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm said in a fireside chat with Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express on Tuesday.

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While it is fancy to count how many payments of different kinds Paytm has processed, but ultimately this year onwards, every payment business in India will talk sustainability, profitability, the opportunity that one can make so much money or not or are they able to monetise customer base, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm said in a fireside chat with Anant Goenka, Executive Director, The Indian Express on Tuesday. Sharma was speaking at the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India’s (IAMAI) virtual annual summit — the India Digital Summit 2021 —with Atmanirbhar Bharat — Start of a New Decade as its central theme. “We are the champions of creating new customer behaviour using cashback, easy customer experience, reach, etc. So, competition in payments is getting mature and when you see challengers, they all will find what is it they stand for. Payment is so fundamental as a business that it will inevitably have n number of players,” said Sharma.

Paytm had recently launched derivates trading on Paytm Money at Rs 10 per trade while in terms of UPI, it was the third-largest UPI app following PhonePe and Google Pay in December 2020. Paytm processed 256.36 million transactions involving Rs 31,291.83 crore in December from 260.09 million transactions worth Rs 28,986.93 crore in November. The company had reported a 1 per cent fall in its revenues from Rs 3,391 crore in FY19 to Rs 3,350 crore in FY20 and a 28 per cent decline in losses from Rs 3,954 crore to Rs 2,833 crore during the said period. The company competes with Walmart’s PhonePe, Google Pay, MobiKwik, and now WhatsApp Payments.

Also read: WhatsApp Payments grows over 2X in December UPI volume, value; PhonePe pips Google Pay to lead tally

Sharma had earlier this month said that the company may become profitable in 2021 amid the increase in use of its payments platforms due to the pandemic. Sharma was speaking at the Reuters Next conference. “We could very well break even this year, we will start making money,” he had said. It had announced in November 2019 committing around $1.4 billion during the next three years to serve ‘financially underserved and unserved’ people in India. Paytm had also raised $1 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba’s Ant Financials, and others at a $16 billion valuation, jumping from $10 billion in August 2018.

The two-day IAMAI summit is having panel discussions around investment, advertising, policies, business, e-commerce, startups, online sports and more involving some of the country’s most prominent faces in the internet and mobile ecosystem. Anant Goenka was also in conversation with Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics, IT, Law & Justice and also the Chief Guest for the event in its inaugural address on Tuesday morning.  Niti Aayog’s Amitabh Kant, Member of Parliament Jayant Sinha, TRAI Chairman PD Vaghela, Sequoia Capital Managing Director Rajan Anandan, Facebook India VP and MD Ajit Mohan and more are the names that are speaking at the annual event.

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