The following is an interview with Harinder Takhar, Paytm Labs CEO
First, can you tell us about Paytm Canada? What gaps does the Paytm mobile bill pay app fill in the Canadian financial services industry?
In 2017, we launched the Paytm app which provides Canadians a fully digital experience to pay all of their bills instantly and earn rewards and cash back offers for doing so – with no fees. This is a very unique offering in the Canadian market. Most Canadians have a bank account and use it to pay their bills, but the process is not instant. Additionally, banks often charge fees for bill pay services so Paytm provides a fee-free alternative for Canadians.
We have seen strong initial growth as Canadians discover that there is an easy and free way to pay bills instantly using their smartphone. The Paytm mobile app in Canada currently has 100,000 users who collectively pay about 6,000 bills a month, and we are seeing 20 percent growth month over month.
Paytm has been a hugely successfully mobile bill pay app in India and now you have launched in Canada. Why was Canada such an attractive market to launch Paytm Canada?
Paytm India has dominated the Indian digital payments market with more than 230 million consumers using its mobile bill payments application. Two years prior to launching our product in Canada, we started a lab in Toronto that created products for the business in India.
We see Canada as a great growth opportunity and testing ground for new products that we may eventually take to other countries. Canada is a strong market with a stable banking system and regulatory environment, and a population interested in trying innovative financial services products. The greater Toronto area also boasts top-notch universities giving Paytm Canada access to a good pool of tech talent. Toronto, Paytm’s home base, is one of the top financial centers in the world and home to many fintech startups and all of Canada’s large banks.
Many of the 5,000 plus bill payers in Canada offer their customers the ability to pay them directly. Why are billers across Canada partnering with Paytm if they already offer payments solutions for their customers?
Great question. Canadians are interested in adopting financial service solutions that provide them more flexibility and convenience to manage their finances. Billers across Canada are realizing that partnering with innovative and trusted payments companies – like Paytm Canada – gives them one more opportunity to be paid by their customers.
Furthermore, bill payers who partner with innovative companies – like Paytm Canada – present themselves as forward-thinking companies, which helps them build customer loyalty. Additionally, Paytm’s strong fraud detection capabilities give our biller network great confidence that a partnership is not only safe for them and their customers, but it will also help boost their bottom-line.
Have you made any recent announcements about Paytm’s mobile app offerings?
We recently partnered with Canada Post and Payment Source to offer Canadians the ability to visit any of the 6,000 Canada Post locations and directly deposit cash into their Paytm mobile app, without incurring any transaction costs. We have seen great adoption of this service.
Do you have plans to launch Paytm in the U.S.? If so, what will be the Paytm niche or will you be going head-to-head with all the big digital payments players?
Canada’s close proximity to the U.S. paired with some cultural commonalities, makes the U.S. a viable opportunity for expansion. However, right now Paytm is leveraging its expertise in technology to build a lasting, secure and efficient solution in Canada. Over the past year alone, Paytm Canada has invested more than $10 million in building its solution and we look forward to innovating in the coming years to build better solutions that improve the lives of everyday Canadians.
PaymentsJournal also has conducted a podcast interview with Harinder Takhar that you can listen to here