In a strategic move, Paytm has launched a new feature called 'Food Wallet' that looks to help enterprises transfer food reimbursements to their employees under a tax-free bracket in a cashless manner. This looks to target services like Sodexo and Ticket Restaurant, by making the food allowance a digital affair preventing loss of coupons or expiry. Notably, MobiKwik launched a similar service back in March.
With the Food Wallet, Paytm taps the Rs. 25,000 crore tax-free allowance market, with 12 million salary returns filed every year. The Food Wallet resides within the Paytm app, and it has a unique interface which shows the real-time balance, and also provides a list of partnered food outlets in the vicinity, in the Nearby feature. Paytm says that some corporate offices have already started using the Food Wallet, and it allows employers to send money to employees residing anywhere in the country. Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma also tweeted that the wallet will recognise your payments at a food or beverage outlet, and use the Food Wallet automatically at all partnered places.
It eliminates the need for handing out physical bulky coupons, making transactions digital. It works with outlets like KFC, Burger King, Zomato, Pizza Hut, Cafe Coffee Day and Big Bazaar among others. The Food Wallet will offer some exclusive deals, discounts, and cashback offers as well, and Paytm is said to have partnered many online, physical, and small standalone outlets across the country for the Food Wallet.
Kiran Vasireddy, Senior Vice President, Paytm said in a statement, "Paytm food wallet will revolutionise the traditional meal voucher space and will benefit all stakeholders - employers, employees and food retailers. Corporate employees can now pay for their food and beverages using their mobile on the go and keep a track of all payments made on the app. This will offer great convenience when compared to the traditional instruments like paper vouchers and will have tax benefits too."
MobiKwik announced a similar feature last month, and called it 'ReMP' Employee Reimbursement Management Product. It also allows companies to seamlessly automate their cumbersome employee reimbursements like food, travel and medical expenses quickly and easily with the wallet, eliminating the need to credit it to bank accounts or handing out coupons.
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in NDTV's Gadgets 360.