Global payments major Visa has enrolled Paytm Payments Bank into its card issuing and payments network, and the Indian e-wallets provider is in talks to start issuing Visa-branded debit cards as well.
Alfred F. Kelly, the chief executive officer of Visa shared news of the partnership with Paytm in a recent call with analysts.
“We are working with Paytm Payments Bank to offer our debit credential solutions to enhance their offerings to their rapidly expanding customer base,” Kelly said. Visa could leverage Paytm’s plans to grow the card payments market in India through this partnership and benefit in the long run, he said.
This could be a major move by the US-based multinational to get large, unorganized merchants into its fold. Paytm, one of the largest payment players in India, has been at the forefront of digitizing small merchant payments over the last few years.
“PayTM Payments Bank has formally joined the Visa network as a member and will soon be able to issue Visa cards in the market,” said T R Ramachandran, Visa’s group country manager for India and South Asia. “Separately, in line with our combined strategy to expand the contactless card acceptance network in India, PayTM is also in the process of enabling merchants on the PayTM network to start accepting contactless card payments.”
Paytm Bank has been offering digital debit cards to all those who had opened accounts, but physical cards were issued only on the specific request of customers. The bank, one of the seven operational payment banks licensed by the Reserve Bank of India, was only issuing RuPay debit cards till date.
Paytm did not comment on its partnership with Visa, but said it would continue to issue RuPay cards.
“Paytm Payments Bank will continue to issue RuPay cards as well to our customers. Our partnership with NPCI is strong and will continue to grow in the time to come,” said the bank’s spokesperson. Currently, the bank has 44 million virtual savings accounts.
Paytm was built as a mobile wallet solution, but has further extended its offerings to QR code solutions. Over the last few months, the company has also been expanding its points of sale payment solutions. It recently launched its own payment terminals to accept all forms of card payments, beside wallets and UPI.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, owns a majority stake in the bank, while the remaining shares are held by One 97 Communications.