PhonePe crosses 100 million users

June 02, 2018 08:01 pm | Updated 09:16 pm IST - BENGALURU

Flipkart-owned digital payments start-up PhonePe said it had overtaken Paytm to become the largest consumer payments company in the country in terms of total payment volume (TPV).

The Bengaluru-based firm said it had hit $20 billion in TPV annual run rate, making it the largest player in terms of transaction value. “That is what we believe based on the understanding we have... we are the largest consumer payments [company] in the country today,” said Rahul Chari, co-founder and chief technology officer of PhonePe, in a telephone interview.

PhonePe said that it had also crossed the 100-million user mark. However, Paytm, which has reported a user base of 218 million, said that its TPV annual run rate had hit $29 billion in May 2018.

Mr. Chari said the company expected to double its user base by the next year.

PhonePe said its platform drove more than 70% merchant Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions, making it the largest player in the market.

The average transaction value on the platform varies between ₹1,800 and ₹2,000, which shows that users were also using the platform for high-value transactions, the firm said. “Clearly one thing that stood for us as a differentiation from Paytm is the transaction value itself. Our average transaction value over the platform is significantly higher,” said Mr. Chari.

In April 2018, the company said the PhonePe platform saw more than 60 million transactions, with more than two million transactions a day. The firm said it aimed to reach more than five million transactions a day by end of the year.

Data security

Mr. Chari said the data of the consumers on the PhonePe platform was safe and the company did not create any sort of monetisation out of consumer data.

“PhonePe does not in any way utilise or share its [consumer] data [with] any third party,” said Mr. Chari.

He also mentioned that all of the company’s data resided within the country, which was one of the requirements of the Reserve Bank of India.

Last month, U.S. retail giant Walmart said it had agreed to pay $16 billion for about 77% stake in PhonePe’s parent Flipkart. Mr. Chari said some part of the investment would translate to an increase in the budget for PhonePe to drive its growth much faster. Flipkart had already committed $500 million investment towards PhonePe.

Mr.Chari said that in future PhonePe might also be able to leverage the cash-and-carry network of Walmart and even explore opportunities outside India.

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