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PhonePe launches new app for buying and selling stocks, mutual funds

PhonePe’s announcement emphasised an offering called WealthBaskets, which are baskets of stocks curated based on a theme that users can invest in

PhonePe on August 30 entered the discount broking business by launching Share.Market, an online platform that allows investors to buy and sell stocks and mutual funds.

Share.Market is not part of the main PhonePe app. It is a separate app available on Android and iOS and also as a website. Currently, the platform offers stocks (intraday and delivery), mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and a new offering called WealthBaskets (more on it below). Futures and Options (F&O) and other segments will be rolled out soon, the company informed.

PhonePe’s announcement emphasised an offering called WealthBaskets, which are “curated collections of stocks/investment products by SEBI registered intermediaries that align with specific themes, sectors, or market trends” and are based on quantitive research, the company claims. It appears to be similar to Smallcases, which are also baskets of stocks curated based on a theme that users can invest in.

Although primarily known for UPI, Walmart-owned PhonePe in recent months has been expanding its financial offerings. In the last few months, the company launched a payment gateway for small and medium businesses, entered the merchant lending business to facilitate loans to merchants on PhonePe for Business, launched its own point-of-sale (PoS) device that allows merchants to accept payments via debit cards, credit cards, and UPI, and started offering health insurance plans in partnership with insurance companies.

PhonePe’s foray into these other markets could be because of the lack of financial incentives from merely providing UPI services because of the zero merchant fee regime introduced by the Indian government to promote UPI.

If the success of online stock broking platform Zerodha has shown anything, it’s that discount broking can be a profitable business. And crucially, a lot of the market is still left untapped despite the recent exponential growth in retail investors. But the industry is not without competition. Zerodha, Upstox, and Groww are a few players in the discount broking segment. And not to forget, traditional online brokers like ICICI, Kotak, and HDFC are also eyeing the same customers. PhonePe’s major advantage is that it can tap into its large user base on the main app and direct them towards its Share.Market app. And if the bet pays off, Share.Market could contribute significantly to the company’s bottom line.

However, unlike Zerodha, which does not charge anything for equity delivery, Share.Market will charge 0.05% or Rs 20 (lower of the two) per executed order. Share.Market’s rates for intraday trading, which are the same as the equity delivery, are also slightly higher than Zerodha’s. WealthBasket transactions, however, are exempt from these brokerage charges.

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