Digital payments major Paytm on Tuesday launched a new version of its ‘Soundbox’ along with other solutions that ease acceptance of payments as part of its efforts to equip 50 lakh merchants with IoT (Internet of Things) enabled devices. The company, which already has over nine lakh merchants using its IoT devices, aims to bring 5 crore merchants into the mainstream economy with its solutions. Paytm had recently announced that it has achieved over 1.2 billion monthly transactions led by the massive growth in offline payments and financial services. “Our target is 5 million IoT devices, (which is) 10 per cent of the 50 million merchants…We are aiming to reach 50 million merchants in the next two years. Merchants have varied requirements and need different solutions for accepting payments,” Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.
The company has already facilitated payments acceptance via wallets, UPI, cards and net-banking for over 2 crore merchants, thereby helping them grow their business exponentially, he added. Sharma said ‘Soundbox’ device has played a pivotal role in establishing digital transactions as a safe and secure mode of payments, enhancing the trust of businesses and consumers to move digitally. With this IoT-based device, merchants do not need to keep checking their mobile phones for confirmation, increasing efficiency, and reducing queues and customer waiting time on the shop floor. “Instant voice-based confirmations of payments help merchants keep track of all transactions, protecting them from getting duped by those showing fake screens and false confirmations…The Soundbox 2.0 comes equipped with a digitally enabled screen that gives instant visual confirmation of the paid amount along with the voice-based response,” he said. Merchants can also use the device to fetch the payment summary for the entire day, and also notifies when it is running out of charge. While the device supports five languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Kannada, the company plans to add more regional languages, including Marathi, over the next few months. Sharma said the company is exploring getting the devices manufactured in India. The devices are currently imported from Taiwan, China and a few other countries. Besides, Paytm’s Smart POS for Android phones solutions empowers merchants to accept card payments through their smartphones.
This application transforms a smartphone into a device that accepts debit and credit card payments just like a regular card machine. Supported by Paytm, smart POS enables merchants to seamlessly start accepting contactless card payments anytime and anywhere. Paytm has partnered with financial services institutions, including Visa and MasterCard, for facilitating card payments for smart POS. It would soon be live with Rupay as well. “Paytm is committed to bringing new-age financial technologies and services to small and micro-merchants in India. The launch of Soundbox 2.0 and Smart POS for Android phones expands opportunities for small businesses to experience these latest technologies at the most affordable price,” Sharma said. Paytm’s in-store payment offerings, including the pioneering All-in-One QR, are examples of the best ‘Made in India’ technology, he added. TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager (India and South Asia) at Visa, said contactless payments or tapping to pay with a contactless card or mobile device have fast emerged as the preferred way to pay globally with nearly 60 per cent of Visa transactions outside of the US occurring with a tap. “As a pioneer of the Tap to Phone solution with EMVCo, at Visa, we are particularly excited about Paytm Smart PoS’s ability to offer a seamless, convenient and interoperable solution for merchants that will help them accept payments securely from millions of contactless cards in the market,” he added. Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), said the vision of enabling a billion transactions a day can only be achieved if everyone comes together to help the ecosystem grow.