Post the demonetisation drive launched by PM Modi towards the end of last year, the competition among digital payment service providers has further intensified. This has caused leading digital payments platform Paytm to lead the pack with a massive uptick in numbers. And this has now led one of them, namely Mobikwik, to finally raise its voice to address a major concern within the ecosystem.
One of the co-founders of Mobikwik, Upasana Taku, claims that Paytm is misleading the populace of the country by posting inflated user base and transaction numbers. She is of the opinion that the digital payments provider is exploiting its popularity to turn the cogs into its favor. And this is evidently hurting not only the business but also the brand of other players in the same digital payment space.
To better understand her allegations, we need to take a look at the data released by the RBI just recently. It mentions that the total payment instruments, including mobile wallet transactions, stands at around 88 million for the month of December 2016. Whereas the total number of mobile wallet transactions in 2016 was nearly 950 million.
These figures, Taku says, are in sharp contrast with those boasted by Paytm in their blog post on New Years. She further mentions Mobikwik of having close to 45 million users, which is a reasonable number. She also states,
Paytm is definitely ahead of us but I don’t think they have crossed 100 million users
Paytm, in its blog post, claims that 2016 was one of their defining years. The total number of wallet uses swelled from 122 million in January to close to 177 million by the end of December. It advertised that their platform has completed more than a billion transactions last year but it definitely contradicts RBI’s data. Also, the Alibaba-backed company mentioned that it had 80 million monthly active users in December, which also challenges the data presented by the monetary regulator of the country.
Speaking about the same, Taku also continues to add,
Before demonetisation, Paytm had started their sticker strategy. All stores may not accept it but they have the sticker. In visibility Paytm has done a lot of work. RBI should start publishing real numbers, then people won’t question me that your competitor is four times bigger than you.
Further, there have also been debates about the number released by the RBI being completely accurate. While some say that the number of mobile transactions should’ve risen post demonetisation, other believe that the masses were wary of spending more seeing the cash crunch. There is currently no certainty about which section of debaters should one support. But this has led us to surprisingly question the integrity of the widely popular digital wallet service, we use on the daily.
Ever since the landmark move by PM Modi, Paytm has flaunted itself of reaching 20x server load and transaction volumes which were never expected in such a short span of time. It witnessed a ridiculous 435% spike in transaction volume, 200% hike in app downloads and 1000% growth in money added to the wallet. Additionally, the company has recently also gained permission from the RBI to formally launch its Payments Bank services in the coming weeks.