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Paytm goes global

By Karan Choudhury
May 04, 2016 10:30 IST
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Paytm

Every business that uses Alipay across 16 countries would also accept Paytm soon

Soon, 126 million Paytm users will be able to use their mobile wallet to make payments at several international supermarket chains, hotels and for cab travel in more than 16 countries.

Paytm plans to go global by the end of this year through its association with Alipay, owned by Alibaba Group.

Beginning with 16 countries, Paytm’s international reach will grow every time Chinese mobile payment major expands its international footprint.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder and CEO of One97-owned Paytm said his company has been working with Alipay to make Paytm a global wallet.

“So what is happening behind the scene is that Paytm and Alipay are building a global network, while Alipay is working on global acceptance, Paytm is acquiring local consumers.”

It has signed up with Uber and Macys among others.

Soon, every business that accepts Alipay would also accept Paytm, he said.

He said while the card companies were riding the payment network ecosystem because of global acceptance so far, wallet companies were lagging behind.

The move is to make Paytm wallet as effective and relevant globally as a Visa or MasterCard.

Sharma added that the integration of Paytm’s backend with Alipay has started and would be completed by the end of this year.

“Effectively Paytm goes global after deep integration with Alipay is complete, by end of this year.

"Some elements of that would start coming in by end of this month.

"Before this year end, Paytm wallet would be accepted globally,” he added.

As far as government regulations around such transactions are concerned, Sharma said his plans for global expansion were well within government guidelines.

“RBI guidelines say that wallets can only pay in Indian currency, so international currency payments which are in dollars, or any other currency, need to be converted into rupee and the deduction has to be in rupee.

That part Alipay would take care of,” he said.

It means that Alipay’s software at the backend would convert the dollar amount into rupee on the spot and charge money accordingly.  Alipay is accepted in 16 countries, including Southeast Asia and the US. It is expanding in South America and Europe.

The process has been kick-started with a 3-way partnership between Alipay, Uber and Paytm.

Now, Indians travelling abroad would be able to pay for their Uber rides through Paytm.

Uber on Tuesday said a new partnership with China’s Ant Financial Services Group and India’s Paytm will allow Chinese and Indian users travelling abroad to pay for their rides in more than 400 cities.

Under the tie-up, customers would be able to pay for their international rides directly in RMB or Rupee using an Alipay or Paytm account. At the backend, calculation would be done according to the day’s exchange rate and the amount would be charged in local currency.

The integration would also allow Paytm users travelling abroad to book Uber rides without downloading Uber’s app.

In return, Uber would get access to 450 million users of Alipay and over 126 million users of Paytm.

Also, Paytm said it will not charge any hidden fee for conversion and will convert based on current Forex cards.

The image is used for representational purpose only

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Karan Choudhury in New Delhi
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