Eyeing the top spot in 2019, Walmart-owned Flipkart's mobile wallet PhonePe is planning to cross $50 billion in transactions in 2019. The company is planning major expansion in areas, including travel and ticketing, events, payments of services, as well as increasing its reach in tier-III and rest of the cities in India.
According to Yuvraj Singh Shekhawat, head of offline organised business at PhonePe, the point of sale (POS) device would be an important part of its strategy. “To that end, our primary focus is on working with merchants across categories to experiment and evolve multiple form factors of the device based on the merchants' needs in a specific category. We are now in a pilot phase with our newest form factor that includes the option to print a bill across a few fuel outlets in Bangalore and Delhi,” he said. At present, it has over 50,000 POS devices that have been deployed.
The company is also working towards understanding the wealth management industry better and is planning to launch a few services for consumers in the space of mutual funds and insurance in the first half of 2019. It is working with existing players and partners to create for consumers, but it is still in the early discussion stage right now.
Through all this, the mobile wallet is eyeing an annual transaction volume of $50 billion. “We are expecting the offline expansion to contribute to a large extent. Use cases on the app like money transfers, bill payments, recharges will also contribute to our growth. Along with this, the in-app business where we are bringing diverse apps on one platform and building a seamless and secure login as well as payment experience for consumers will be a major growth driver this year,” Shekhawat said.
PhonePe via Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) plans to get into a number of new verticals, including fee payments in schools and colleges, payments at hospitals and other services. “These initiatives are a part of adding more use cases on the app. We are working with BBPS to enable it on the PhonePe app,” added Shekhawat.
After Walmart bought a majority stake in Flipkart, PhonePe has revamped its growth strategy. Other than the second tranche of $250 million from the $500 million investments committed by Flipkart in 2017, the company, according to sources, would be raising more funds separately. While the company is keeping its plans under wraps, it plans to raise another $500 million to a billion dollars for the next stage of expansion.
The company has added over a million merchants in the past one year. It plans to take the number to seven million by end of this year. It is also working with a majority of the big retailers in the organised offline space, including IOCL, HPCL, Mother Dairy, McDonald's, KFC, More, Spencer's, Metro Cash & Carry, Apollo Pharmacy, Medplus, Pantaloons and Croma.
In an effort to make the mobile wallet hyperlocal, the company has recently introduced the stores tab on the app that provides hyperlocal discovery for its partner merchants. While, at present, it allows consumers to find out all the different retailers in a specific area that accept PhonePe, the plan is to segregate them into categories allowing users to search according to their requirements.
Currently close to 20 micro-apps are live on the platform, including Ola, IRCTC, Redbus, Oyo hotels, Myntra, Zefo, Faasos and Goibibo (flights and hotels), among others.