Digital payments app PhonePe, owned by Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, has tied up with 25,000 merchants, to accept UPI payments through its app, the company said.
Among the merchants it has tied up with include big names such as Apollo Pharmacy, Cafe Coffee Day, Barista and Spencer’s. It will also go live with 15 large format retail chains. The company, now claims to be the largest player using UPI for merchants and control close to 80 percent of all transactions.
“For us in this business consumers and merchants are equally important. We are not only focusing on consumers through offers but are building a lot of customised solutions for merchants, be it online or offline, as well,” Pradeep Dodle, head of business development of PhonePe said to Business Standard.
PhonePe, is also a strategic partner with YES Bank for its UPI app, was bought by Flipkart in 2016.
PhonePe, which launched its app based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform about in Oct 2016, is betting big on the government’s initiative to create a cashless economy by promoting different means of digital payment mechanisms.
UPI-led payment mechanisms allow users to instantly transfer money from their account.
According to recent data, UPI transactions crossed the 11-million mark in July. However, many experts feel that the real growth will come when people begin purchasing products and services using UPI.
Competitors such as Paytm, FreeCharge (owned by Snapdeal) and MobiKwik, who claimed to have a huge head start, already tapped several offline merchants to accept payments through their platforms.
PhonePe vs Paytm
Among all the players in the payment space, Paytm with huge user base is considered top competitor for PhonePe. Paytm, an incumbent in the space of mobile wallets became the direct beneficiary of India’s demonitisation drive.
Paytm anticipates and already has braced up for intense competition going ahead in the payment space.
Recently, it had delisted 85,000 sellers from Paytm Mall and planning to add a further 3,000 agents to expand into tier-II and tier-III cities and towns.
Paytm, for its large user base, is considered to have an edge over PhonePe. Paytm claimed to have 218 million wallets. The firm, for the financial year ended March 31, 2017,
Paytm processed 100 million offline transactions a month.
Whereas PhonePe, from being a pure peer-to-peer transfer player, the platform has evolved into allowing interbank transfers. It has also integrated a number of value-added services like payment reminderss, which has worked in their favour.
PhonePe App has around 40 millions downloads. However, on Google store it showed 10 millions downloads. From 1.1 million transactions in December, PhonePe saw 6.5 million
transactions happening over the app.
In future, choosing among payments solutions will come down to ease of use of the product. Incumbent Players in the space are working towards making the platform more user friendly and erase the need of going to banks or its site.