Paytm

Paytm will now allow recharges to its wallet through Bank of Maharashtra ATMs. Paytm says that Bank of Maharastra debit card holders will be able to use the facility over their 1,800 ATM network. However, it does not mention whether other banks debit cards can be used at their machines and if the deal is exclusive to Bank of Maharashtra customers. An Economic Times report adds that Paytm is partnering with other banks to enable top ups for the wallet.

Paytm, in recent times, has been expanding the scope of its payments to offline nodes. Earlier this month, the company started allowing payments on Kirana stores via QR codes. The QR code option, according to the company, will allow kirana stores, autorickshaws, taxis, cabs, fast food joints among others to carry a laminated QR code to receive payment without a data connection.

It’s also worth remembering that Paytm said it would open around 50,000 offline retail outlets where users can load cash into their wallets (I haven’t seen them in Mumbai. Let us know if you have anywhere else).

MediaNama’s take

It makes enormous sense for Paytm to tie up with more banks to load money on their wallet via ATMs as ATMs are more familiar with people. According to Reserve Bank of India’s data for May, there were 570,813,794 debit cards in circulation. The number of ATM transactions using a debit card were 636,626,458 and the value of these transactions was Rs 2.09 lakh crore.

Compare this to the number of transactions on prepaid payment instruments in 2014-15 were 314 million while the value of transactions on wallets was Rs 21,300 crore, according to to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers India, Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Payments Council of India (PCI).

Interoperability on ATMs is vital for wallet players as they can leverage a network of 183,887 machines in the country, which are frequently used in a predominantly cash-based economy.

Read more: Why cash is still king in India

Competition

– Meanwhile, rival wallet service MobiKwik tied up with ICICI Bank so that users could add cash at any of the bank’s branches. This service is currently live in Delhi-NCR and the company said it’ll be extended to other cities in India soon. The company also mentioned that it  processed 500,000 offline transactions in the last three months, amounting to over Rs 60 crore. The top 5 cities for offline payments were Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Delhi. According to the company, of this 100,000 transactions were processed across 260 Big Bazaar outlets in the country.

– Oxigen’s wallet service has 10 million users and is also backed by an offline retail network of over 200,000 touch points which can carry out recharges on the wallet.