Indian food delivery unicorn Swiggy sets its eyes on digital payments

Following the footsteps of biggies like Ola, Google, and Amazon, India’s largest food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy is also looking to enter the Indian digital payments space to cash in on its fast-growing customer base and high repeat usage.

Swiggy has been working on launching a consumer-facing wallet as well as UPI for the past several months now, Entrackr reported. It is most likely to integrate payments feature into the native-app. While the wallet will let it users load money and spend it on ordering food online via Swiggy’s app, the UPI will support person to merchant and person to person payments.

The Indian unicorn (a startup valued at $1 billion or more) had registered a virtual payment address (VPA) with handle @swiggy on UPI in partnership with ICICI bank last year, which was so far being used internally to pay delivery partners and critical associates/vendors.

“Besides wallet, Swiggy will also bundle UPI option in its payments play. The product is at least three-to-four months away from the official launch,” the report said quoting sources.

In March last year, Swiggy had also partnered with Flipkart’s arm PhonePe to enable a new payment option for customers. The service allowed consumers to choose from various payment options such as PhonePe wallet, unified payment interface (UPI) and pay for their food orders seamlessly within the Swiggy app.

The development comes almost a year after its arch-rival Zomato was reported to be launching its digital payments platform. According to a Business report in October 2018, Zomato had already started hiring for payment and partnership roles, and was slated to launch its payments services in a couple of months. The Alipay-backed company’s plan, however, hasn’t taken off yet.

A 2018 Credit Suisse report had estimated the total digital payment market in India to grow to $1 trillion by 2023, led by growth in mobile payments. According to the report, digital payments aggregate less than $200 billion, of which mobile was still at $10 billion in fiscal 2018.

Meanwhile, Swiggy has expanded its services beyond just online food ordering and delivering. Earlier this month, it launched ‘Swiggy Go’ service in Bengaluru to enable users to pick and drop anything through Swiggy. The company aims to expand its ‘Swiggy Go’ service to atleast 300 cities by 2020.

Swiggy also announced expansion of its Swiggy Stores to Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Swiggy Store, was so far being being offered to customers only in Gurgaon. By next year, it plans to have Store’s presence in all metro cities in the country.

Swiggy is also in advanced stages of closing a $700-750-million round that is slated to be led by existing investor Naspers. It last raised $1 billion in December last year at a post-money valuation of $3.3 billion. Some of Swiggy’s other investors include DST Global, China’s Meituan Dianping and Coatue Management. Tencent, Hillhouse Capital and Wellington Management.

Founded in 2014, Swiggy connects consumers to over 1,30,000 restaurant partners across more than 325 cities.