Paytm Money, the wealth management arm of One97 Communications, has softly launched a stockbroking feature within the app. The company has been planning to launch a stockbroking service for a while.
While the feature is currently in a closed beta stage, it will be rolled out for everyone in a few weeks from now. It is worth noting that the Noida-based firm had received a nod for stockbroking services from the Securities & Exchange Board of India or SEBI last year. The app is available for Android users only and currently supports investments made by Indian residents.
With the stock trading feature, Paytm Money will compete with Zerodha, ET Money, IndMoney and India Infoline, Groww and Cube Wealth, among others. At present, Zerodha leads the discount brokerage space and contributes to almost 15% of the Indian retail trading volume. The Nitin Kamath-led company is the largest retail stockbroker with a customer base of over 1.5 million.
Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma hinted about stockbroking services at a recent industry conference. The wealth management app also received approval to offer NPS from the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
Paytm Money is the most significant bet by the Noida-based venture after Paytm Mall. Launched in October 2018, it also claims to have Rs 5,000 crore assets under its management. Paytm Money had recently roped in Varun Sridhar as the new CEO and elevated Amit Kapoor to CFO and vice president of the company.
Importantly, Pravin Jadhav who led Paytm Money from scratch left Paytm Money because of some differences with the company and its board on the pretext of ESOPs and remuneration. Soon after his exit, Paytm Money’s CTO and operations head also resigned.
Of late, there has been a race for becoming a super app for managing the wealth of 200 million Indians who invest in mutual funds, SIPs, and stocks. More than half a dozen well-funded companies along with smaller ones have been competing fiercely to onboard and retain users.
Paytm Money will have an advantage over others because of its strong branding and reach. On the lines of its payments business, if the company finds a foothold in smaller cities and attracts the low-income groups to invest in mutual funds, SIPs, or gold; it may emerge a winner in the overall wealth management space.