Pay­ments Cos Wit­ness a Gold Rush Dur­ing Fes­ti­val Sea­son

With wide adop­tion of dig­i­tal gold, firms record strong trans­ac­tion nos

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Our Bu­reau

Bengaluru: Af­ter the big boost dur­ing Navra­tri week, dig­i­tal pay­ments com­pa­nies have recorded bumper trans­ac­tions dur­ing Dhanteras and the pre-Di­wali shop­ping fes­ti­val. Driven by con­sumer de­mand for gold dur­ing this time, pay­ments com­pa­nies have recorded a strong show in trans­ac­tions and, at the same time, seen a wide adop­tion of dig­i­tal gold. Com­pa­nies like Paytm and PhonePe, which sell dig­i­tal gold on their plat­forms, recorded a sig­nif­i­cant jump in pay­ments dur­ing Dhanteras. The largest pay­ments com­pany, Paytm, said that since its launch, the com­pany has sold more than 2 tonnes of gold through its ap­pli­ca­tion and around 10 mil­lion peo­ple have bought the metal through the app.

In a note shared with ET, the com­pany said Paytm Gold has wit­nessed wide­spread adop­tion across Delhi, Haryana, Ut­tar Pradesh, Ma­ha­rash- tra, West Ben­gal and Kar­nataka with two-thirds of the over­all adop­tion com­ing from tier-II and tier-III cities.

“Our gold gift­ing ser­vice has proved to be a great hit, reg­is­ter­ing a 10-times jump in or­ders. This fur­ther reaf­firms our be­lief that Paytm Gold is an at­trac­tive gold buy­ing and gift­ing method. We ex­pect the fes­tive gold shop­ping fer­vour to con­tinue weeks af­ter Di­wali,” said Nitin Misra, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent, Paytm. Even Paytm’s Bengaluru-based com­peti­tor PhonePe said it saw a sig­nif­i­cant jump in sale of dig­i­tal gold on its plat­form. The com­pany claimed to have recorded a 200% in­crease in sale of gold dur­ing Dhanteras com­pared to a nor­mal busi­ness day. More than 40% of the pin­codes in the coun­try saw gold pur­chase on PhonePe’s ap­pli­ca­tion. It also claimed to have recorded a 400% jump in ticket size of gold pur­chases on its plat­form.

The RBI had said in its an­nual re­port in Au­gust “the in­creas­ing vol­ume of com­plaints in­volv­ing dig­i­tal pay­ments be­ing re­ceived by the of­fices of the bank­ing om­buds­man and the large num­ber of pre­paid pay­ment in­stru­ments is­sued by banks and non-bank is­suers have ne­ces­si­tated es­tab­lish­ment of a sep­a­rate om­buds­man for dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions.”

RBI last year is­sued in­struc­tions to mo­bile wal­let is­suers and non-bank­ing pay­ments en­ti­ties to es­tab­lish a pub­licly dis­closed cus­tomer grievance re­dres­sal frame­work.

“(PPIs will be) des­ig­nat­ing a nodal of­fi­cer to han­dle the cus­tomer com­plaints, the es­ca­la­tion ma­trix and turn­around time for com­plaint res­o­lu­tion. The com­plaint fa­cil­ity, if made avail­able on web­site/mo­bile, shall be clearly and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble,” RBI said in a master cir­cu­lar is­sued in Oc­to­ber 2017.

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