Mobile commerce marketplace and digital wallet Paytm has tied up with Manapuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp to launch financial services businesses over the next two weeks, reports YourStory. The platform will start the services by offering gold loan repayment and eventually plans to provide facilities to renew insurance policies online.
According to Paytm, the beta version of its new services are ready, although it is not clear when users are likely to start seeing the rollout. The company mentions that the first insurer to go live the platform will be SBI General Insurance. Note that, Paytm will not aggregate insurance policies or loans etc. The company will simply enable users to pay EMIs or insurance premiums online.
Payments bank: Last week, 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 would 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 would 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 now have to convert the same into a payments bank licence.
“App store” launch: Yesterday Paytm launched an ad page masqueraded as an ‘app store’ in partnership with inMobi. The ‘app store’ is basically a new tab in the Paytm app and lists various apps for downloading. Clicking on any of these apps opens the download page on the Play Store app, reducing Paytm’s ‘app store’ to nothing more than a form of native advertising. The company however hinted that it would start offering Paytm cash as rewards to drive up app installs.
Number of users: The company claims that it crossed 100 million users in the country and 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.
Image source: Flickr user stavos