Founder and Chief Executive of Paytm, India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform, recently said in an event that the company is ‘as Indian as Maruti’ and prides itself on being a representative of the ‘India Story.
Sharma was replying over a constant criticism that the company has been facing over significant Chinese ownersip. “We are as Indian as Maruti is…we are ‘India story’ in every sense whatsoever. What matters to us is our customers, what matters to us is the law of land, regulator,” Sharma was quoted by PTI as saying.
The once-government controlled Maruti is now majority owned by Japanese carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp with a 56.21 per cent stake as its sole promoter.
Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Financial pumped in $680 million into Paytm’s parentOne97 Communications last year, taking its total shareholding to over 40 per cent in the country’s largest mobile wallet operator with close to 160 million customers.The criticism over ownership, circulated widely through instant messaging apps, sought to pick up on sentiment of banning Chinese products.
Paytm’s Chinese connection has also been watched closely by the economic wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), which has been running a relentless campaign against the inflow of Chinese goods and investments in India for some time, said in a report that they will study the relationship between Paytm and Chinese online retailing giant Alibaba Group.
Sharma, however, appeared unfazed by the criticism, and told PTI, “Everybody else has a way to say whatever they want to say. We don’t come to that level and reply.”
App PoS services resumed
The company which had hailed the ongoing demonetisation drive has been witnessing over 7 million transactions worth Rs 120 crore a day, helping it crosss US$ 5 billion GMV sales, four months ahead of its target.
The company is currently doing more transactions than the combined average daily usage of credit and debit cards in India.
Sharma also said that the company has resumed its app point-of-sale (PoS) offering, which it took down just two days after going live due to security concerns.
According to a PTI reoprt: Sharma said that the security risks which the PoS offering poses are the same as the card’s use at a physical merchant where the card details can be copied. He said the company had to introduce a “few more features” before relaunching the service, which is aimed at eliminating the need to have a swipe machine and can operate only with a mobile phone.
“After our launch, we have had several discussions with stakeholders on how we can make this process even more secure. Based on some suggestions from the industry, we have decided to add additional certifications and features before making it available to merchants,” the company had said at the time of withdrawing the facility.
“We will re-launch this product as soon as we update it. We are working closely with everyone in the cards ecosystem,” it had added.