Bengaluru-based payments company PhonePe on Thursday said that the platform has reached an offline merchant base to over five million.
This is a rapid increase from January 2019, when the total offline merchants on the platform stood at 1 million, which crossed three million in April.
Speaking on the milestone, Yuvraj Singh Shekhawat, Head of Offline Business Growth at PhonePe, said,
“We are excited to reach this milestone and are humbled by the trust shown in us by consumers as well as merchant partners. We will continue to expand our reach across the length and breadth of the country, building innovative solutions that make the process of digital payments simple, convenient, and hassle-free.”
In April, the company announced that the total digital payment transactions on its app crossed the two-billion mark. At the time, PhonePe had attributed this growth to the increasing acceptance across large and small offline and online merchants across the country.
To grow its offline reach, PhonePe also said that it is also providing daily incentives to merchants in line with the auspicious daily ritual of ‘Bohni’, on the first transaction of the day done through the PhonePe QR code. According to the company, every retailer can earn a total amount of Rs 1,400 every month.
Surprisingly, just today, PhonePe’s arch-rival Paytm also announced that it was changing its cashback strategy to focus on transactions at offline retail kirana stores, instead of P2P UPI payments. The news comes at a time when even Paytm is looking to go deeper into Tier IV and V geographies to activate its next phase of growth.
At present, PhonePe is present in more than 150 cities across India and continues to expand into newer geographies. It has a merchant app to facilitate end-to-end control on the payment process for merchants including transaction confirmation and reconciliation.
PhonePe’s offering also includes instant settlements and zero processing fee on UPI transactions for merchants. It has also introduced a ‘stores’ tab on the app, enabling hyperlocal discovery of partner merchants for users, and is also working on features that will allow merchants to showcase their offers to users.