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In a country where cash is still king, a mobile app that offers online transactions is seeing 700,000 new users join the platform each day.
India’s Paytm has hit 200 million wallet users, CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said Monday.
With this milestone reached, Sharma is also setting his company a new goal to get half a billion Indians to do online transactions using his app in the next four years.
Even though the six-year-old mobile wallet app has been fairly popular among urban Indians for years, it wasn’t until November last year when prime minister Narendra Modi declared the vast majority of cash invalid in the country that its relevance skyrocketed.
For Indians, more than 80 percent of whom prefer hard-cash to do any kind of transaction, mobile wallet app companies including Paytm as well as rivals Freecharge and MobiKwik, have emerged as a relief.
Two days after Modi’s speech, Paytm said it had observed a 435 percent upward spike in traffic, and 200 percent increase in app download numbers. Less than two weeks later, it was handling over seven billion transactions each day, more than those by all credit and debit cards in the country combined.
As of March last year, there were about 24.5 million credit cards in India, and 661.8 million debits cards.
Paytm is quickly becoming ubiquitous in the country. Not only does nearly every online service support Paytm, but more importantly, small merchants such as auto rickshaw drivers, roadside stalls, vegetable vendors are increasingly accepting payments via Paytm.
“At Paytm, our goal is to help merchants and consumers transact digitally at zero extra cost. Reaching 200 million registered users and more than half a million users on a daily basis is a great showcase of the country’s trust in our payment solution and reaffirms our belief in the need for a quick and easy cashless payment method,” Deepak Abbot, SVP at Alibaba-backed Paytm said in a press statement.
Another way to look at Paytm’s sudden rise is its founder’s new goals. In August 2015, when Paytm hit 100 million users, the company was seeing 75 million transactions each month.
In December of last year, the app did more than 200 million transactions, with the founder hoping to do two billion transactions in 2017.