Update: Archit Gupta, Founder of ClearTax tells MediaNama that this is not an advertising deal. “It’s a partnership. They’re able to offer IT Returns to their users, and we are getting reach. We had done coupons with Paytm last year, we want to see how things how things work on a marketplace, and this is an audience we typically don’t get access to as Cleartax. We are seeing new audiences.”

On the term of the deal, “Right now, the understanding is for the tax filing season. Once the season pans out, we will see what to do after that. It’s till the first week of August,” Gupta added.

The interesting perspective here is that Paytm is possibly seeing itself as a marketplace for services.

Earlier: Online payment platform Paytm has introduced free tax filing for its users, in partnership with tax filing site, Techcircle reported. Cleartax is an online tax filing service from ClearSharp Technology Pvt Ltd, which provides free tax filing for individuals who self-file, as well as paid products such as CA Assisted filing, and business offerings for freelancers and professionals. Given that the deadline for individuals to file their annual tax returns is approaching fast, this is a timely launch. However, given that typically filings take place around this time of the year, and this business is seasonal, we wonder if this offering will sustain. Tax filing is seasonal, while the rest of Paytm’s offerings to users – recharges, bill payments and bus tickets – are not. Paytm is a very powerful audience acquisition platform: Online recharges, in particular, are a strong draw, and Paytm has carefully built its base over the years with strong marketing.

In the context of the Cleartax partnership, Paytm is similar to a publisher.

Like a publisher, Paytm is already monetizing its acquired audience using advertising – users who transact are offered deal coupons, for which Paytm would typically get a fee from the advertiser. It’s a model that most recharge sites are adopting. Another advertising option available to publishers is advertising through micro-sites or co-branded sites, similar to what used to do quite often. The advertiser gets a part of the audience visiting the publishers site, and it could lead to sign-up’s.

Of course, consumers come to Paytm with the intent to buy recharges or tickets, it needs to be careful how much of this premium real estate it gives to partners, lest it distract customers from the core business of transactions.

Other recharge ventures include, SpiceDeckRechargeitnow, Mobikwik, and even e-commerce portal Yebhi. Other online tax filing ventures include Taxspanner, Taxsmile, EasyITFiling, TaxMunshi, TaxShax, MyITReturns.

Disclosure: Spice Digital, which runs SpiceDeck, is an advertiser with MediaNama