As India grapples with a huge cash crunch, Paytm, which enables digital sales, has made it possible for small shopkeepers to accept credit or debit cards without a swipe or point-of-sale machine.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma pointed out that currently, there are only 1.4 million of these machines in India.
"If there is a smartphone, we can change things,” Sharma told NDTV.
After the high-denonimation notes were cancelled on November 8, business has been going gang-busters for Paytm with a reported 7 million daily transactions worth about Rs 120 crores every day. This allowed Paytm to cross its sales target of 5 billion dollars four months ahead of schedule.
Opposition leaders from the Congress and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have insinuated that the company was in some way privy to the sudden demonetisation. Sharma dismissed those charges, stating, “Look at the bigger agenda, this is just noise. The pain is for massive gain.”
The latest update to Paytm’s Android app will rescue many small vendors. Here’s how. Even if you don't have a Paytm account (a digital wallet where you have deposited some money), the shopkeeper will generate your bill and then give you his phone to enter your credit or debit card details.
Then, you will receive an OTP or one-time password (just like for any online shopping) on your cell phone - enter that into the app on the shopkeeper’s phone, and it will complete the transaction. It is a little cumbersome, but represents a big saving for small vendors such as your local vegetable seller, for example, who will be able to accept payments from your debit card. The OTP protects the info you’ve entered in the shopkeeper’s phone from being misused. And till the end of this year, there will be no fee on the digital transactions through Paytm
An iOS version of this updated app is also in the works.
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.