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Paytm and ICICI Bank to launch virtual cards for wallet users

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Paytm has partnered with India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards which can be used by wallet users at both offline and online stores for purchases. The development was first reported by the Economic Times.

Speaking to the publication Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that the 16-digit virtual card will be co-branded by both Paytm and ICICI Bank. He added that the virtual card can be accepted at any retail organization which accepts Visa, MasterCard and RuPay.

The partnership will also allow users to recharge their wallet at any ICICI Bank branch via cash or cheques. It’s interesting to note that rival wallet MobiKwik had partnered with ICICI Bank earlier this year to allow its wallet users to add cash at any ICICI Bank branch. Meanwhile, Paytm in October had inked an agreement with Bank of Maharashtra to allow the bank customers with their debit cards to recharge their Paytm wallets via ATMs.

Payments at kirana stores via QR codes

In October, Paytm launched a QR code-based payments in the Paytm Wallet app, which can be used by shopkeepers or service providers in order to accept digital payments. The QR code will contain Paytm account details of the merchants, while the buyer only has to enter the payment amount and approve the payment.

ICICI Bank’s digital payments product Pockets also allows users to make cashless payments from their smartphones at physical stores, e-commerce websites and deliveries at home. The feature has been enabled by Visa’s new mobile payment solution mVisa.

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Pushing wallet users to update their KYC details

Earlier in November, MediaNama had reported that Paytm was pushing its users to update their KYC (know your customers) details with them which will increase their wallet limit to Rs 1 lakh. According to the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines,  semi-closed wallets without KYC  have a limit with Rs 10,000. Sharma said that the company is targeting users who spend more than Rs 5,000 per month to furnish their KYC details.

Over 100 million users

In August, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month. The company said that its wallet was now accepted by over 80,000 merchants across the country. It’s closest competitor in the wallet space, MobiKwik, claims to have 25 million users in the country.

Funding from Alibaba

In September, Paytm raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial. It was reported that the Alibaba Group will pick up about 20% stake in Paytm for about $680 million which will see Ant Financial’s stake lowered to 20%. In February this year, Ant Financial Services, one of Alibaba’s affiliate companies, acquired 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount.

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