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Paytm launches app for Android Wear before anyone is wearing it


Mobile-focused e-commerce marketplace Paytm* has introduced an app for Android Wear. The app will let users make quick payments and get wallet updates through their Wear devices.

To use the functionality, users first need to download the Paytm app on their smartphones running Android 4.3 or above. On downloading, users will get an option to add the Paytm widget on a synced Android Wear device. The widget will enable users to check their Paytm account as well as make quick payments for ‘Favourite’ items listed on the mobile app.

The app will also let users travelling in Uber or using other wallet services check their wallet balance through the wear device, and will allow users to pay for predefined regular transactions for bills and recharges. According to the company, these payments can be made in a single swipe using the Wear device widget. Additionally, order updates or notifications, are also displayed on the widget.

This initiative by Paytm is interesting, although we wonder how useful it actually will be. It would certainly be convenient to perform one swipe payments, but would these not cause accidental or prank transactions? Additionally, there are just a couple of Android Wear devices in the Indian market and device penetration is low, so its not clear how many users will be able to take advantage of this. However, its not a bad idea to get a heads up on the competition and launch an app before there is a demand by users to have one. Interestingly, ICICI Bank’s executive director Rajiv Sabharwal had said the bank will be looking to develop banking products on wearables in January this year.

Paytm fundraise: Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services, which operates the online payment solution AliPay, had acquired a 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount last month. One97, which runs Paytm, said it would use the funds to grow Paytm’s mobile payment ecosystem, and on commerce user base acquisition.

As part of the deal, Ant Financial will also provide Paytm with strategic and technical support for its business. The companies are also expected to work on new product and service offerings. That such a deal was in the offing was first reported in early January. At the time, the deal was expected to be worth $575 million for a 30% stake. Earlier this month, Ratan Tata also invested an undisclosed amount in the e-wallet service provider and marketplace and had become an advisor on the company’s board.

Other developments:

– Paytm had initially introduced its online shopping section which extended its mobile-only physical goods marketplace to the web in June last year. It’s worth noting that the company had positioned this offering as a mobile-only marketplace at its inception earlier the same year.

– In December, the platform launched two new categories, Kids and Automotive, on its website. It had previously also launched mobile phones and cameras as verticals, in May last year.

– Earlier this month, Paytm opened a branded store called ‘Garvi Gurjari’ which showcases products from the Gujarat State Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation. Paytm has signed an expression of interest (EOI) with the state-run handloom corporation and said it would help indigenous craftsmen and retailers of Gujarat leverage its country-wide customer base.

– The platform also said it would open around 50,000 offline retail outlets where users can load cash into their wallets and introduced IMPS transactions, the same month. Interestingly, Paytm is also one of the 41 applicants for payments bank license according to a list released by RBI. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm applied for the license in his personal capacity.

– In November last year, Online cab service Uber exclusively partnered Paytm to enable users make use of Paytm’s prepaid wallet to pay for their tax rides. This followed reports from September this year which had suggested that Uber was in talks with Paytm and PayU to integrate a digital wallet with its payment process.

Read also:

Eye of the tiger: trends for 2015 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm

#Outlook15: What Indian IoT & Wearables Companies Plan To Do In 2015

*Disclaimer: Paytm is an advertiser with Medianama.

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