Business Standard

Gpay, Phonepe gain on Paytm bank fallout


Google and Walmart Inc. are rapidly gaining customers from India’s Paytm, the fintech pioneer struggling to navigate central bank restrictio­ns and the potential shutdown of a key payments affiliate.

The value of Paytm payments made on the state-backed transactio­ns system fell 14 per cent to ~1.65 trillion ($19.9 billion) from January, the National Payments Council of India (NPCI) said on its website Wednesday. Walmart-owned Phonepe and Google’s Gpay, which both process far more payments than Paytm, each had an increase in their payments value.

Paytm’s decline suggests consumers are moving usage to alternativ­e services even before any disruption to its systems. The new curbs affecting Paytm are kicking in on March 15, and even after that the company expects its digital payments services to keep running as before. Yet the firm’s stock has slumped since the regulator unveiled its action in late January, on concern the restrictio­ns will crimp the fintech pioneer’s prospects.

The value of transactio­ns processed by Phonepe rose nearly 7 per cent, while Gpay witnessed an almost 6 per cent rise, NPCI data showed. Also when measured by payments volumes, Paytm declined while Phonepe and Gpay advanced. Firms don’t make any money on transactio­ns on the state-backed system, called Unified Payments Interface, but it provides them with a massive catchment of hundreds of millions of consumers to whom they can cross-sell services such as insurance and mutual funds.

The Reserve Bank of India on January 31 ordered Paytm Payments Bank — which isn’t controlled by Paytm but which processes much of its payments and financial services — to halt much of its business. Though Paytm has quickly pulled together other bank partnershi­ps to stay in business, the regulator’s move triggered a sharp slide in its stock and hit customer sentiment. Shares in Paytm are dow almost 50 per cent since late January.

In his first public comments after the RBI action, Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma this week voiced confidence that his digital payments company will overcome the regulatory setbacks and stage a comeback as a stronger company. Both Paytm Payments Bank and Paytm, which is traded as One97 Communicat­ions, are part of Sharma’s fintech empire but the bank isn’t listed.

 ?? ?? Value of transactio­ns processed by Phonepe rose nearly 7%, while Gpay witnessed an almost 6% rise
Value of transactio­ns processed by Phonepe rose nearly 7%, while Gpay witnessed an almost 6% rise

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