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Flipkart’s payment app PhonePe to foray in offline commerce


Flipkart owned UPI-based payment platform PhonePe plans to go for offline payment solution. The development was first reported by VCCirlce.

PhonePe is now being used as a payment option at over 2,600 Apollo Pharmacy stores and all Barista outlets in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, the spokesperson said. Retail store chain Spencer’s, fast-food chain KFC and Café Coffee Day will also start accepting PhonePe soon.

Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari founded PhonePe, which was later acquired by Flipkart in April last year. It is essentially a payment system riding on UPI. But now it plans to cross-sell financial products across spectrums.

At present, an individual can make transactions on the platform through UPI to the phone number of the receiver, or to their virtual name (VPA). If the receiver isn’t on UPI, you can make a payment by inputting bank details of the recipient, which is similar to an IMPS transaction.

Last year, the government floated Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM app), a mobile payments app riding on UPI, developed by the NPCI in December 2016 to drive digital payments in the country. It has amassed over 20 million downloads and accounts for about 40 percent of all UPI driven transactions, while PhonePe is close behind, claiming a 38 percent share in June.

The good sign of growth for PhonePe can be attributed to Flipkart’s ‘Big 10’ sale, which accounted for 2.5 million (or 45 percent) of the total transactions on PhonePe for May. Further, over 40 percent of all prepaid transactions for Flipkart, Myntra, and Jabong also occurred on PhonePe.

Flipkart is only emulating global majors like Apple and Alibaba, which introduced their own integrated payment systems to provide wholesome consumer experience. And recent events like demonetisation, which boosted digital payments in the country, the stage for UPI like PhonePe is set to grow.

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