Paytm, India’s most valuable startup, on Monday claimed to have processed 1.2 billion transactions in the month of February, establishing the extent to which it has penetrated in one of the world’s fastest-growing payments markets where it contends with Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Flipkart-backed PhonePe.
Paytm said its users transacted 1.2 billion last month across different payments modes including wallets, plastic cards, internet banking, and UPI. This is the highest volume of transactions announced by any payments firm in India and Paytm claimed that it has strengthened its leadership position.
A Paytm spokesperson said that the startup clocked above 1 billion transactions in the month of January as well. A PhonePe spokesperson claimed that its app crossed a billion transactions in December, and its last month’s transacting volume was above a billion across UPI, wallet, and credit and debit cards.
Paytm’s figure reveals how the SoftBank-backed startup has continued to grow, though not being a superior player in the UPI ecosystem.
A payments railroad created by a collaboration of retail banks and endorsed by the government, UPI has emerged as the most favoured way users transact online in recent years, despite not offering any business model.
Last month, UPI services processed 2.29 billion transactions, the governing body NPCI said on Monday. PhonePe and Google Pay are the most influential UPI players in India, controlling above 85% of the person-to-person payments market. PhonePe processed almost 970 million UPI transactions in February. NPCI spoke of its enforcement of a market share cap on its member firms. Unlike Paytm, which rules over wallet players, and PhonePe, Google Pay and relatively new entrant WhatsApp exclusively operate on UPI.
Paytm has broadened its horizon to cater to merchants over the recent years as many international firms launched their offerings to solve person-to-person payments in India. The startup claimed that its service is predominating in offline merchant payments and is growing 15% month-on-month. The startup, headed by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, said it caters to more than 17 million merchants. PhonePe claims to serve over 17.5 million merchants.
Paytm said it has been the chief driving force behind building and expanding digital villages and now equips more than 6 lakh (600,000) villages in India with digital payments. The startup said above 50% of its merchant partners have an account with Paytm Payments Bank, the startup’s digital bank and it also regulates the market with its digital wealth management service, Paytm Money.
At stake is India’s payments market that is roughly valued to be $1 trillion worth in the next three years, up from about $200 billion last year, according to Credit Suisse.