Paytm has spun off the e-commerce side of its payments app into a standalone app called Paytm Mall. This move separates the wallet side of the business from the e-commerce side. Along with this, the main Paytm app has received an update that is said to make the app faster and improves the user experience.
Coming to the Paytm Mall, the new app has all the categories one would expect from an e-commerce app, including electronics, fashion, furnishings, and so on. As was the case with the Paytm e-commerce marketplace, the new Paytm Mall app provides cashback offers, which are credited to users' associated wallets in lieu of a discount. In that sense, the new app seems to simplify the Paytm experience, with shopping and wallet not having to compete for attention, while the features and experience remain otherwise the same.
The Paytm Mall app itself looks and functions a lot like the main Paytm app - tap the mall button on the latter's navigation pane, and the experience seems largely identical. Does this indicate that the mall is going to go away entirely from the main Paytm app? On Monday, Paytm announced that it has crossed 200 million wallets, so it might feel that it is beneficial to let transactions take the focus on the new app.
Paytm has been planning to separate the two as the wallet becomes a part of its payments bank, and the launch of Paytm Mall shows that this is now happening. However, interestingly, Paytm Mall also evokes the name T-Mall, one of China’s biggest e-commerce players, and a part of the Alibaba Group, which is an investor in Paytm.
Earlier this month, there were reports that Paytm was raising $200 million from Alibaba, for its e-commerce business. Alibaba is also an investor in Snapdeal, and in 2016, was contemplating entering the country as a standalone entity in India. This investment in Paytm would show that it has chosen a way forward in India, at a time when Snapdeal is in trouble, clearly strapped for cash.
Paytm has launched , a standalone e-commerce app. For years, has run its mobile wallet and e-commerce divisions together, and you use the same app to access both sides of the business.
As mentioned above, the main Paytm app was also updated recently - on Friday, according to a blog post. It has added new uses such as paying loan installments, and simplifying utility bill payments. There's also a sample electricity bill feature that's been added, which lets you see sample bills for different service providers that highlight the different fields, so you can more easily find the relevant information on your own bill.
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.