Update: In addition, Paytm informs us that their initial note had mistakenly called the section an app store. They’re right: it’s more of an affiliate section, and not an app store within an app. We should have been more vigilant.
Update: Paytm’s vice president for business, Dushyant Saraswat, spoke to MediaNama about the app section and hinted how in the next avatar it could be a bigger brand engagement platform to drive up app installs and offer consumers Paytm cash as rewards. “This is the first baby step in the direction of what we want to build as a fun category for our consumers. We intend to have fun elements out there in partnership with our brands etc where we will be able to generate great amount of engagement with the brand and do everything from app installs to education of the consumers about brands and services in future,” he added.
Earlier: Mobile commerce marketplace and digital wallet Paytm has now launched an “app store” on its mobile application in association with mobile ad network InMobi. This was first reported by The Economic Times*. However it needs to be pointed that the applications featured on Paytm are just hyperlinks back to the app on Apple iTunes or Google Play.
We’re not sure of future plans but we’ve reached out to Paytm and will update once we hear back from them.
NextBigWhat also points out that this app store is primarily focused on getting a slice of the app download dollars being spent by the well funded startups. Note that Paytm, InMobi and Amazon had earlier this month launched an ad discovery platform called MiiP. The platform was to be launched in its beta version soon with apps like Shopclues, Swiggy, Moneyview, Nestaway, Urban Ladder, Vozpop, Wooplr and Zimmber sporting its features.
Perhaps this is a less invasive way for applications to advertise themselves and this “app store” could be considered as a form of native advertising. But it needs to be seen if Paytm has a large enough user engagement to see if they can charge applications a premium for app installs through this ad platform. It also remains to be seen whether other applications could follow the same way for in-app advertising.
Earlier this month, Paytm and 10 other companies received an in-principle nod from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a payments bank. The approval granted will be valid for 18 months, during which time the applicants have to comply with the requirements under the Payments Banks Guidelines. Following this, the RBI will consider granting a license for commencement of banking businesses “under Section 22(1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Until a regular licence is issued, the applicants cannot undertake any banking business.”
Paytm got its semi-closed prepaid wallets license from the RBI in August 2013 and will have to convert the same into a payments bank licence now.
Number of users
The company also claimed that it has crossed 100 million users in the country. It also claims that it carries out over 75 million transactions every month. It’s closest competitor in the wallet space, MobiKwik, claims to have 17 million users in the country. Paytm says that its wallet is now accepted by over 80,000 merchants across the country while MobiKwik says that it has over 50,000 merchants.
*Update: An earlier version of the story had mentioned that NextBigWhat had spotted it first. But it was pointed out that Economic Times had reported about the development earlier.
Update: Following our conversation with Paytm, the headline now reflects the update.