India: Citigroup partners Paytm to launch co-branded credit cards for wider reach

Vijay Shekhar Sharma at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 organised by DEALSTREETASIA

India’s top digital payments firm Paytm on Tuesday launched a credit card with Citigroup, widening its financial product base while giving its banking partner an opportunity to vastly expand its credit card customer base in the country.

The new card should help Paytm stay a step ahead of rivals in the fiercely competitive digital payments market in India where companies from Alphabet Inc-owned Google to Walmart-owned PhonePe, are all scrambling to grab a piece of the digital payments pie that is projected to grow to $500 billion by 2020, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

For Citi, it is a big opportunity to extend its retail presence in India.

Even if only 1% of Paytm’s over 300 million customers use the new credit card, that’s a huge number, Stephen Bird, Chief Executive, Global Consumer Banking at Citi told reporters at a news conference.

“We think there is a tremendous potential for growth of this partnership,” Bird added.

Paytm became a household name across India after New Delhi’s shock move to ban high-value currency notes late in 2016 led to a cash crunch and boosted use of its electronic wallet.

Its parent One97 Communications counts Japan’s SoftBank Group, Alibaba and Berkshire Hathaway among its investors.

The Paytm First Card will offer 1 percent cashback on all transactions, unlike reward points offered by most rival credit cards in India.

“We understood that there is a set of the customer base or customer needs that get fulfilled when you have a credit card or card in the hand,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of One97 Communications.

“That is why we had launched a debit card of our bank and today we complete our offering with a credit card partnership with Citibank.”

Sharma, a self-made billionaire, said his firm is targeting “urban aspirational users who are first-time credit users”.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.