Paytm*, the online recharge company incubated by One97 Communications, is now offering its own payment gateway solution: Paytm Payments (Hat-tip – Pravin @beingpractical). Speaking with MediaNama, Harinder Takhar, CEO of the the company, said that they began offering payment gateway solutions to clients around 10 months ago, but have only just gone public with it after testing the waters with select clients. Note that when we had asked Takhar about such plans when he joined Paytm in January (six months ago), he had said that a payment gateway was not something that the company was working on at that time, but hadn’t ruled it out.

Paytm Payments already powers payments on Paytm, and claims to have more than 60 clients including Snapdeal, HomeShop18, SandsInfo and DishTV. The company offers a customized payment platform, which supports all platforms including websites, IVR/voice, WAP/mobile web, mobile payment apps (on tablets, Android, Blackberry, iPhone), and through SMS, and offers Thin-clients, Software-development kits, developer API and secure checkout solution for all major shopping carts.

How is it different from other gateways? We’re not so sure. Takhar informs that the Paytm has been selective about its clients and has essentially focused on deployments that integrate mobile payments, since it’s part of the company’s philosophy. Unlike other gateways it will offer customised solutions to meet the product’s needs, to support seamless mobile transactions incorporating 3D secure and OTPs. At the moment, the Paytm Payments does not offer a DIY deployment, but it’s on the company’s radar, he informs. For that, they’ll also probably need to standardize plans: at present, plans vary depending on the client, on a representative average basis, Paytm Payments charges 3% per transaction if transaction volumes are more than 30 lakh and 4% if transaction volumes are less than 30 lakh. When we checked, the Paytm Payments site didn’t have detailed terms and conditions or plans.

Paytm Payments allows clients to  record all process activities including payment pages and reports, for real time access to transaction, subscription and settlement data. It also offers APIs that can automatically capture, refund and cancel funds. The company also claims that Paytm Payments offers several security measures and is designed to manage various processes such as maintaining  sessions between Request & Response, and doing an auto recon process at the end of the day, in addition to PCI DSS certification with 256-bit Verisign SSL encryption.

Payment options:Paytm Payments supports Visa and Mastercard credit cards and debit cards, and Net Banking for all major banks that support 3D secure. It does not support PayPal and cash cards at this point in time.

Analytics:  Paytm Payments also offers an analytics package, allowing merchants to track their performing pages vis-a-vis those that are under-performing, online products and services, order volumes, among other things, through key tools and charts.

Competition: The e-payment space in India has independent companies such as EBS, CC Avenue and BillDesk but the lion’s share of the space is held by large private banks like HDFC, Citibank and ICICI. Last year, Naspers, the South African company that also co-owns Ibibo with Tencent, had quietly rolled out its payment gateway product, PayU. European payments provider Ogone entered India, with the acquisition of the Indian payment gateway EBS. There have also been talks about Reliance Industries setting up a payment gateway with American Express. Delhi based Zaakpay, also offers online payments including Debit and Credit cards through its Webpay product.

As we’ve said time and again there is always scope for good payment gateway products, however, at the end of the day it also depends on how it is able to fulfill their promise of recapturing failed transactions, because they are the biggest deterrent along with connectivity issues, to the e-commerce industry. With more and more mobile applications (both native & web apps) integrating payments, the need for a robust mobile compatible payment gateway has only increased by the day. So it would be interesting to see if Paytm Payments will be able to fill that void.

*Disclaimer: Paytm is an advertiser with MediaNama.