How Fintech Paytm Became India’s Cashless King

Cashless payment made on a mobile phone.

Paytm is a leading financial technology company based out of India that provides financial services, digital payments, and other payment solutions to its customers. 

Since Paytm’s product offerings are available to customers all across India, it has quickly grown to become one of the largest digital payment platforms in the entire country. Over the years, the company has employed a variety of strategies to increase its reach, including several aggressive marketing campaigns and strategic partnerships with various financial organizations and banks. 

In this origin story, we’re going to cover the history of Paytm in great detail, starting with how the company was founded. We’ll then dive into their business model and how they generate the majority of their revenues, as well as their marketing strategies and expansion plans going forward. 

If you’re ready to learn how Paytm quickly grew to become India’s “Cashless King,” read on to get inspired and extract a variety of business insights from a company at the forefront of India’s cashless revolution.

Paytm Overview and History

Paytm, an acronym for “payment through mobile,” was originally founded in 2010 by Vijay Shekhar Sharma under the parent company One97 Communications Limited. The original goal of Paytm was to provide mobile payment services to consumers and allow merchants to receive payments through QR codes, online payment gateways, and point-of-sale solutions. 

Over time, Paytm partnered with various financial institutions and has increased its product offerings to include buy now, pay later options and microloans. They’ve since expanded to additional industries with offerings such as ticketing services, online games, and even retail brokerage products. 

Paytm is now India’s largest digital payments platform and has over 350 million registered users, and currently holds a number of strategic partnerships with leading banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. 

In its mission to make digital payments accessible to everyone, Paytm has been at the forefront of expanding the reach of financial services in India.

What Does Paytm Do?

Paytm is one of India’s leading digital payment companies, offering services such as online payments, mobile wallets, financial services, and ecommerce. Their primary business model is to provide customers with a secure platform on which they can make digital payments and transfer money electronically without the traditional hassles associated with previous-generation banking. 

Paytm makes its money on transaction fees for each payment made using its services, as well as through its partnerships with merchants, businesses, and other banks that use Paytm to accept payments from customers. 

Some of the different product offerings provided by Paytm today include:

  • Digital payment processing
  • Ecommerce services
  • Financial services such as loans and insurance
  • Digital wallets to store money and pay bills online quickly and easily
  • Online recharges for prepaid mobile phones, data cards, DTH, and other utilities
  • Discounts and cashback offers for various products and services they provide

In a move to further grow its product and service offerings, Paytm has expanded into the ecommerce space with the deployment of Paytm Mall, giving customers the ability to shop for groceries, home furnishings, jewelry, electronics, and many more categories online. Paytm’s innovative business model, marketing strategies, and expansion plans have succeeded, allowing them to become India’s leading financial services provider and trusted merchant in just over a decade. 

The History of Paytm’s Growth

Compared to other companies all over the world, Paytm has rapidly managed to grow into one of the largest payment and financial services providers in India in just over a decade. 

We’re going to walk through Paytm’s timeline and the significant events that occurred in its history as a company. This will allow us to get a better understanding of how they were able to scale as quickly as they could to the level they find themselves at today.

A Timeline of Paytm’s Rapid Growth

  • August 2010: Paytm launches as a mobile recharge platform
  • October 2014: Launch of Paytm Wallet service
  • November 2015: Paytm raises $680 million in funding from Alibaba Group and Ant Financial Services
  • June 2016: Launch of payment bank services
  • August 2017: Introduction of UPI-based payments
  • May 2018: Launch of open-source payments platform
  • July 2020: Paytm acquires insurance startup Raheja QBE for $76 million
  • November 2021: IPO launch on the Natural Stock Exchange of India (NSE)
  • December 2021: Launch of Paytm Wealth Academy

Paytm Business Model

Paytm’s business model is based on providing a secure and convenient platform that users can make payments on, shop online with, and use day-to-day to track their financial transactions and purchases. They also provide a variety of merchants with an integrated solution that lets them accept payments, track inventory, and manage customer orders in a simple and effective manner. 

The most significant elements of Paytm’s business model when it comes to revenue include payment processing, gateway services, online marketplace expansions, mobile wallets, advertising, promotions, and financial services. 

We’re going to go into each of these business areas in greater detail and explore the different revenue streams Paytm has built into its enterprise over the years. 

Payment Processing and Gateway Services

Paytm provides payment processing services to its merchant customers, allowing them to accept payments from customers in the form of credit cards, debit cards, net banking, UPI, and other digital wallets.

With Paytm’s secure and reliable platform, businesses can quickly and easily accept payments from customers all over the world without the excess hassles of dealing with banks or other third-party services. Furthermore, with Paytm’s user-friendly interface, even those with little technical knowledge can easily set up a payment gateway. As a result of these product offerings and their success, Paytm has quickly become one of the most popular payment processing solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Online Marketplace

Paytm has an online marketplace that offers a wide range of products and services to its customers. It provides users with the ability to shop for items from a variety of categories, including electronics, fashion, sports, home, and more. 

The platform enables users to make purchases through its secure payment gateway and lets customers benefit from discounts and rewards by using special promotional codes.

Mobile Wallets

Paytm developed a mobile wallet that enables users to make payments, receive money, and shop online quickly and easily. Their wallet is currently available on Android and iOS devices, and users can register by entering their phone number and creating a password. 

To add money to the Paytm Wallet, users have the option to use their debit or credit card or transfer money from their bank account. Once the money is added to the wallet, it can be used to make payments at stores that accept Paytm, used to purchase items online, or to be transferred to another user’s wallet. Additionally, Paytm also offers features such as bill payment and recharges for mobile phones.

Financial Services

Paytm offers various financial services to its customers similar to those offered by banks, such as online payments, recharge and bill payments, money transfers, and digital wallets. The company operates a multi-sided platform that allows users to access financial services and make payments from any device effortlessly. 

This platform is powered by a sophisticated technology stack that enables customers to store their financial information and transact digitally securely. Overall, Paytm has revolutionized the way people pay for goods and services in India by making it more straightforward and secure than ever before.

Advertising and Promotions

As one of the leading digital payment companies in India, it’s no surprise the company has an advertising program. The Paytm Ads platform is used to run various advertising and promotional campaigns for which they receive revenue.  

When businesses advertise on Paytm Ads, the company gets paid for the advertising spend and gives businesses exposure on their platforms and websites in return.

Paytm Marketing Strategies

Paytm has established itself as one of the leading digital wallet and payment companies in India. To establish and continue this growth throughout the years, they had to be innovative and relentless in their marketing strategy. 

The company has implemented a wide range of marketing strategies to reach new customers and drive engagement, including everything from cultivating strategic partnerships with other companies to leveraging social media and influencer campaigns.

Paytm leverages different tactics to ensure its marketing messages are seen by the right audiences and continuously makes use of data-driven insights to ensure its campaigns are effective and efficient, helping them stay ahead of the competition in an increasingly crowded market.

We’re going to look at some of the specific marketing tactics Paytm has used over time and how each of these tactics allowed them to grow and expand exponentially.

Content Marketing

Paytm leverages content marketing to promote its products and services across multiple channels, including its website, blog, and social media platforms.

Through these channels, Paytm can reach a wide audience and gain more customers as a result. Content marketing has been a prominent factor in the growth of the company, as it has allowed them to build trust with potential customers and increase brand awareness simultaneously.

Influencer Marketing

Paytm uses influencer marketing to reach potential customers by leveraging their relationships with influential people in the online space.

Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular in the digital age, and Paytm is taking full advantage of its potential by using it to engage with customers. With this tactic, they can draw in customers and establish a successful presence in the online market.


Companies that use search engine optimization (SEO) in line with content marketing see consistent growth over time, especially when it comes to capturing organic traffic and organic visitors that are searching for solutions using their favorite search engines. 

Paytm has websites for each and every one of their services and platforms, letting them get exposure in online searches and attract new customers.

Remarketing and Retargeting Advertising

Remarketing and retargeting are advertising strategies that are specifically designed to bring back individuals who visited your product offerings or brand pages in the past but didn’t end up joining your ecosystem, buying your products, or utilizing your services. 

Paytm runs advertising campaigns, and these campaigns likely include retargeting advertisements intended to bring back prospective customers and get them into their ecosystem.

Sponsored Posts and Videos

Sponsored posts and sponsored videos are very similar to influencer marketing but often involve reaching out to larger brands and businesses in order to get placement. Paytm has strategic partnerships with a wide number of brands and uses sponsored content to get in front of its target audience. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns have been around ever since the introduction of the internet. Since email is frequently checked and used by consumers worldwide, it’s a great way to send offers, coupons, and discounts to your existing customers in order to increase their customer lifetime value (CTV) and get them to purchase from you once again. 

Paytm utilizes email marketing to get customers back into their ecosystem and spending.

Mobile Advertising

Paytm, just like many large enterprises today, uses mobile ads to target customers on their phones and tablets.

Their main focus is to increase user awareness and engagement through mobile ads, complementing Paytm’s larger strategy to become a one-stop shop for digital payments in India and beyond.

What’s Next for Paytm?

Paytm has been rapidly expanding since its launch in 2010 and has become one of the leading digital payment and commerce platforms in India. 

The company is now looking to grow further and plans to launch new products and services in the coming years, including extending its presence beyond India, launching new financial services, increasing its user base, and investing heavily in technology and innovation. 

We’re going to look at the future of Paytm and what their new strategic initiatives and improvements can bring to the industries they are currently operating within.

Develop a More Robust Payments Solution

To provide more value to their existing customers, Paytm will continue to develop their payments solution making it more robust and implementing additional advanced features such as online bill payments, improved mobile wallets, and instant money transfers.

Continue to Develop Their Ecommerce Platform

Paytm’s ecommerce platform has been a great addition to their business overall and will continue to be improved over time. Since the ultimate goal of Paytm is to become integrated into every aspect of Indian life and commerce, additional improvements to their marketplace will allow them to expand their reach and get even more customers as a result. 

Expand Into More Global Markets

Paytm is expanding into new markets outside India by building partnerships with banks and financial institutions in other countries. 

This continued move will open up new opportunities for Paytm to increase its reach and capitalize on the growing demand for digital payment solutions. The company has already established partnerships with banks and financial institutions in multiple countries, enabling even more users of Paytm to have access to a secure, convenient, and cost-effective way to make digital payments across borders.

Integrate AI Technologies

As artificial intelligence (AI) capacities continue to grow and expand, Paytm will develop personalized recommendations for customers through the use of AI and machine learning. This will allow product recommendations to match what users are looking for, and make usage even more efficient and effective.

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