The Evolution of PayTM from a Website for Mobile Recharge to Independent Payment Processing App

Almost all of us are acquainted with PayTM, the independent mobile app for payment processing. It has come a long way evolving through various stages and states to become one of the most commonly used payment app for too many people in several parts of the world. Starting its journey just as a mobile recharge app it went on to become most dependable app for delivering payment across business and personal transactions.

Known largely as a company for Value Added Service (VAS) for mobile platforms PayTM is now no less than a payment bank. It took close to a decade of journey of the app to evolve and become what it is now. Though many people perceive this app as the app for direct interaction with the customers, it is presently an app for B2B transactions as well. In fact, this is the brand that helped countless Indians realise their dream of digital transaction and embracing smart payment methods for transaction.

It started its journey way back in 2009 when independent payment apps were still in their nascent state. Over the years since then much have changed and with the launch of PayTM, the lock gate for several similar apps was opened and we have seen a plethora of payment processing apps to appear including M-chek, Obopay, NGPay and Paymate.

How Things Changed

The policy that facilitated the upsurge of these new breed of payment apps was not sudden. The change of policy has been the result of a long drawn initiative taken by the India’s financial policy makers that include various banks, particularly Reserve Bank of India. RBI unrolled its policy for digitisation of finance and financial apps way back in 2008 and the policy was finally arrived in 2014 with the permission of 100% FDI in Mobile Wallets.

How It Continues And Made The Payment App Industry Prosper?

Over the following years we will see several payment apps coming up and so called banking and financial institutions are also rolling their own mobile apps. Following this trend closely we have seen an array of acquisitions happening in the world of banking. While all these things were happening, one thing was constant and it was the growth of the financial apps and their revenue.

Over the next few years, we have seen several new apps appearing well equipped to allow payment through digital apps for finance and banking. We have seen Uber and Ola to play a big role in this evolution in payment method. Flipkart and other web store apps also came as major platforms to facilitate digital transactions and payment apps. Often this evolution and continuing innovation in the space of mobile banking and payment apps is seen in conjunction with the evolution in marketing, especially through a plethora of marketing apps.

Some web store apps even came up with its own payment processing app. Snapdeal is a nice example of this. Beginning as a clone or similar app for Groupon Snapdeal quickly made a market presence that is not going to wane away soon. Customer data was continuing to become more valuable in this new and promising space of digital transactions and payment apps.

The Larger Game Plan Revealed

PayTM from its early days of operation understood that the ease of making payment is alone a big incentive for many consumers today who enjoy unprecedented digital exposure thanks to smartphones and increasingly smarter web platforms. Realising this the company even decided to unleash big budget marketing tactics that even comprises of sponsorship for Indian Cricket Team and a wave of TV and media ads. As the first wave popularity provided the company its foundation to seek higher business objectives and growth, it actually established its name as the most successful payment app in India.

At that time the company's heads were reportedly saying that they are actually giving more efforts and spending more on digitisation than even the government and several banking and financial institutions. The company had the clear vision of its imminent success and prosperity and this alone gave them the necessary boost to go all out with their PayTM app.

Boosting The Chances With Cashback Incentives

As soon as the company received wallet license from the RBI, they put all their efforts for retaining customers and it was cashback incentives that played the most important role in boosting their chances. Cashbacks couple up with the ease of making payments for online transactions sealed the deal for PayTM. People only find it convenient to reach for payment apps when they can win the maximum financial dividends in the form of cashbacks and over time this helped the companies in forming a habit of making digital payments.

The cashbacks also helped bringing together ecommerce business with digital payments. Cashbacks offered for a digital wallet thanks to a promotional offer ultimately facilitates payment and promotional benefits through the same platform. For instance cashbacks on mobile recharges paid back to the same digital wallet from where you are making the payment. In fact, thanks to the close relation of making digital wallet apps and ecommerce both experienced sufficient boost in revenue and growth.

To understand the huge effect cashbacks played in promoting wallets, let us see some recent statistics. As per the latest information received from PayTM millions of wallets remained unused by users just because promised cashbacks didn't occur in them. On the other hand, most of the wallets that are regularly or frequently used receive regular cashbacks. This clearly shows, there should be a clear motivation for using the digital wallets whether purposely for cashbacks or other incentives.

Stunning Growth Is A Major Propelling Factor

A huge number of wallet apps applied to the Reserve Bank of India for getting the license and permission. But only a few actually could bag the license while others are in darkness about what actually made their applications cancelled. According to many industry experts a considerably large population of subscribers and wider reach to customers that shows the gigantic user base for a wallet app alone can be a big factor to get the nod of the regulatory authority. This is where PayTM really made a mark with awesome visible presence across merchant stores in every city and small towns in India. Even though initially many merchants didn't have the idea of what this PayTM is all about, the sticker helped the brand to arouse interest and make brand presence.

This strategy of reaching the market far and wide particularly paid well to the company during demonetisation. During this period when cash crunch was visible everywhere PayTM ads were seen across all TV channels and became an appealing option to circumvent the inconvenience created by demonetisation for buying goods with cash. This situation alone fuelled the growth of PayTM but that couldn't be possible without the brand’s wider presence, consumer reach and great infrastructure built and nourished for years before this pinnacle moment of growth opportunity.