Asia: India’s Paytm to engage offline banking partners

Paytm Payment Bank, a digital bank which offers instant account opening using Aadhar (India’s national identification number) will be expanding its network to cover retail stores, mom-and-pop stores in the country to be its local banking partners. Through this collaboration, the bank aims to create a network where customers can open a new saving account, withdraw money, and deposit cash through these partners without having to visit the bank directly.

This initiative was taken to ensure that customers who live in smaller cities where infrastructure and costs are the main hindrances, can still have access to banking services through partners at their nearest locations. The bank will invest IDR 3,000 crore (USD 460 million) to build this network and reach 100,000 consumers in three years’ time. Most of the banking services, however, will continue to be online.

Apart from expanding the network, Paytm recently enhanced its QR code payment system, allowing its merchant partners such as retail stores to receive payments directly into their bank account without any charge. The company will further provide training to build awareness and familiarity of Paytm QR code among the offline merchants, especially the non-banked shop owners.

According to RFi Group data, saving accounts are the most popular banking product taken up in the past two years, especially among the mass market group (65%). The initiatives to reach the unbanked population could be attributed to this high take-up.

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