Opening branches

Why Paytm is opening branches if it doesn’t expect more customers: CEO INTERVIEW

Paytm Payments Bank opened its first branch in Delhi.

After dominating smartphone screens by 4.4 crore users, Paytm Bank is now coming to the neighborhood. The popular mobile wallet and payments bank is opening physical branches, although it doesn’t expect to enroll more customers of the same, chief executive and CEO Satish Kumar Gupta told Financial Express Online in an interview today. hui.

Paytm Payments Bank opened its first branch in Delhi and its second in total. Gupta said branches are essential for a bank to make its presence felt. He explained why Paytm Bank branches might not exceed double digits in the coming years, what kind of competition mainstream banks face and how the company plans to more than double user accounts at 10 crore, this year itself. Here are edited excerpts from Satish Kumar Gupta’s conversation with Prachi Gupta:

How many user accounts does Paytm Bank currently have?

We have a 4.4 crore savings account and 26 crore wallets associated with Paytm.

Where do you see this figure in the coming years?

We see the total increase to 10 crore by the current year.

Do you face competition from regular banks?

It is of course a competition. Acquiring customers is an art. You have to compete with the others. In addition, we work with constraints. We cannot offer full time services if a customer wishes to bank with us. But we’re doing well. We are bigger than many big banks.

And what is the reason behind this?

There is a fundamental approach on our part. User-friendliness is one of the reasons. We try to secure their transactions. Beyond that, we try to offer our customers services at zero cost.

How much income has Paytm Bank recorded in the past year?

I will respond to the transactions we make. We have completed over 40 crore transactions. The value of this is maybe in the range of Rs 25,000 crore.

Paytm would open 31 branches in its first year. Why did the lag occur?

We believe in the “do it yourself” approach. This is our first business outside of the first branch we opened, which is in Noida. We just opened to gain experience. We will see our experience from this and decide to open more. Because ours is a model in which customers can do the job themselves.

What are these branches for?

The branch is at the service of customers. It’s just to make our existence known. People probably only see the bank. If there is no branch, the bank is not there. We just try to make our presence felt for the customer. If we open more branches, it will be single digit, nationwide in the next two or three years. We will never reach the double digit number.

How does opening branches differentiate Paytm from traditional banks?

Not opening branches would have made us different.

But Paytm is a digital platform …

That is what I am saying. This is a first branch that we have opened to gain experience, understand and understand the need for such an infrastructure. It’s not easy to have a branch. It is a costly affair. If we provide zero cost services to customers, you cannot have a branch. So it is not easy to have a branch.

Did you realize that the mobile app alone cannot help capture clients, so the agency?

Not at all. Mobile helps us capture customers. We’re not expecting customers from the branch, we’re not going to register a lot of customers there. They will continue to be registered on mobile only without being a need for the agency. This is our fundamental approach.

You did three post-graduation. It’s very interesting. You left your studies in the 1970s. What prompted you to pursue an MBA in 2006?

It’s just a part of lifelong learning. I will still do more but currently I do not have the luxury.

You spent over 34 years with SBI, then moved to Paytm. How was your experience?

It has been varied and wonderful. SBI is a traditional bank. Come to National Payment’s Corporation of India – an emerging organization that has made its mark. I was assistant to it and I created the Rupay card. It was a good trip there… transformational. Now in Paytm it’s a whole new environment.

You once said that you looked forward to leveraging your banking and payment experience. How successful have you been?

So I have field experience. I have held various positions at SBI. I understand the constraints of management and probably with my experience, I will be able to deliver a more user-friendly and personalized product in the different segments.

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