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Paytm Force enables sellers to avail services from third-party partners

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Paytm has launched Paytm Force to assist and advise merchants on its platform. The service will have more that 3,000 certified ecommerce partners who will offer end-to-end services to merchants for order fulfillment, catalogue creation, account management, returns management and query resolution. The service is available in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

According to the company, these specialists will be made available to sellers at a subsidized rate. Currently, the platform lists account management, email handling, query/claim resolutions and seller-panel assistance services for Rs 300 per hour, with other services priced based on number of units, such as for image editing or cataloguing content. The website mentions that the prices are “indicative and negotiable”.

Snapdeal professional services: In November, Snapdeal launched Professional Services Panel, a similar service for its sellers, that would allow them access to services like tax registration, cataloguing, business consulting and photography, as well as outsource support for these services from Snapdeal verified providers.

Loans for sellers: Note that in November, Paytm partnered with Lendingkart to offer collateral free business loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and sellers. The companies claimed that the credit evaluation process from Lendingkart would take just 3 days, and that loans would be provided at fair interest rates.With these initiatives, Paytm wants to focus on SME development and expanding its seller base.

Paytm’s acquisitions: Earlier this month Paytm acquired Shifu a consumer behavior prediction platform for an undisclosed amount. Last month Paytm acquired Gurgaon-based services marketplace Near.in for $2 million. This was Paytm’s third investment in an online-to-offline service; it previously invested an undisclosed amount in the hyperlocal delivery and auto rickshaw hailing app Jugnoo in November, and had participated in a $50 million funding round for establishing an online to offline app-only marketplace called Little in July.

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Other developments:

– Last month, Paytm partnered with ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards, that could be used by wallet users at both offline and online stores for purchases. Read more here. In October, it started allowing wallet top ups at at Bank of Maharashtra ATMs.

– In November, MediaNama reported that Paytm was pushing its users to update their KYC (know your customers) details with them to increase their wallet limit to Rs 1 lakh. The same month, it partnered with Lendingkart to offer loans to sellers.

– In September, the company was set to enter the hyperlocal services vertical, starting with food ordering, table bookings, cinema tickets and deals in the user’s neighbourhood. The same month, it raised an undisclosed amount in fresh funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial.

– In August, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month.

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