It’s been an interesting week for mobile wallets in India.
When the government announced its demonetization drive on 8th November, mobile wallet companies immediately realized that their time had arrived. It was not hard to anticipate that a cash crunch would follow, and mobile wallets could help people transact seamlessly. Wallet companies immediately scurried to make their presence felt – the very night of the announcement, all companies came out with messages on their social media handles, urging users to use their products. The very next day, Paytm came out with a full page ads in major newspapers. Freecharge too announced cashback offers, and Mobikwik started allowing money transfer to any Bank Account at 0% charges.
But Paytm has gone a step further, and put out a newspaper ad that doubles as a “Paytm accepted here” sign. While ads in newspapers are usually customer-facing, this one is business-facing – it is targeted towards the millions of small business owners across the country, who’re unable to run their businesses because customers don’t have enough free cash available. The ad carries instructions on how to start accepting money via Paytm, and even has a portion that can be cut out and displayed in shops. All the shop owner needs to do is manually enter his phone number on the flyer, create a Paytm account, and start accepting money digitally.
— Sandeep Singh (@Zynx) November 15, 2016
This is a clever move, and could help Paytm get a leg up over its rivals in the country. There has never been a better time to promote mobile wallets – businesses are actively looking for ways that let them accept money digitally. And by reaching out to them directly, Paytm has done away with the need of large sales teams that’ll slowly need to visit individual shops. Time is of the essence in these few months – the more businesses start accepting Paytm, the more customers will use its wallet regularly, leading to even more businesses accepting it, creating a virtuous cycle that’ll drive up usage and transactions.
Paytm is already the largest wallet in the country – and it also seems to be winning in its marketing efforts over this crucial week.