Paymate has tied up with IDBI Bank, their 8th bank partnership in India. The company also has a presence in Sri Lanka, and recently powered services for a partner (Paybill) in Nepal. Paymate claims to have tie-ups with around 13,000 merchants. Interestingly, since Paymate uses the Interactive Voice Response service to verify payments, so they don’t necessarily have to have a tie up with telecom operators. 

Paymate competes with MChek, NGPay and Obopay in India. Do see our list of digital payment companies here. We compiled a list of their banking partners, based on what has been mentioned on their websites, and it does seem strange that HDFC Bank has tieups with MChek, Paymate and NGPay. How does this work – does the bank give customers an option to choose any one? Sure will be confusing for a customer.


Note that MChek has tied up with State Bank of India (SBI), which is India’s largest Public Sector Bank, ICICI Bank, India’s larges private sector bank, and HDFC, another large private sector bank, though I can’t quite understand what is going on with HDFC, given their multiple tie-ups. The following situations are possible in this ecosystem:

1. Bank has the consumer interface: the bank will then choose the payment company, and will have to tie up with all telecom operators
2. Telco has the consumer interface: the telco will choose the payment solutions company which will have to tie up with all banks
3. Payment company has the consumer interface: which means it will have to tie up with all the banks and all the telecom operators.
4. Free for all: utter confusion with either banks tying up with multiple payment companies and/or multiple telcos. The consumer doesn’t know where to go.  

Given the mobile banking guidelines, it appears that the bank has the consumer interface, and the onus is on the payment company to ensure telecom operator tieups. So it is likely that a bank will have only one payment company, and avoid confusion for the consumer. So what then is HDFC Bank doing?

Note (6th Jan 2008):  the table above has been updated, following inputs from Paymate that the company has signed up with Lakshmi Vilas Bank, and Tata Teleservices on the telecom front.