Paytm Comes to Canada… But Why?

I think it’s supposed to rhyme with “ATM”. And honestly, that’s about the only thing about this story that makes any sense.

Mobile Syrup reported yesterday that Paytm, the largest mobile payments company in India, was coming to Canada. In fact, it’s technically already here—they’ve apparently been renting office space in Toronto since 2014.

How does it work? I found these instructions from Gadgets360, an Indian tech site:

  1. Set up a Paytm account using your mobile number and email;
  2. Add money to your Paytm Wallet from your bank, debit or credit card;
  3. Select ‘Pay or Send’ to transfer money to someone else;
  4. Make a payment by scanning a QR code, or…
  5. Send money to another Paytm user via their phone number.

So the business model here is fairly obvious; at any given time Paytm is making interest off of whatever cash their 150 million users have deposited in their mobile wallets. And while I can certainly appreciate the value of a mobile wallet in a country where maybe not everyone has a credit card, I don’t think that’s so much the case in Canada. Furthermore, there are existing solutions already offering some or all of Paytm’s features—SmoothPay, PayPal, and ZenBanx are similar apps that I’ve previously covered here.

If you’re a Canadian with business and/or family in India (or vice versa) then the arrival of Paytm in this country is probably great news. But I’m struggling to see any value in it for anyone else.

Sources: Gadgets360, Mobile Syrup, Paytm

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