PayPal mulls expanding India footprint, aims to be top player in next 5 yrs

Global technology platform and digital payments giant, PayPal, is planning to expand its presence in India’s burgeoning digital payments space.

Speculations have been on for more than a year over the US-based company’s expansion plans in India, since reports came out of it planning to buy Snapdeal’s payments wallet Freecharge. Though it has been in India for a decade, PayPal has not launched a wallet or other fin-tech services in the country.

The space is currently dominated by Paytm, PhonePe and Amazon Pay. PayPal, however, plans to corner a lion’s share of the market in the next five years.

“A third of India’s business-to-customer exports go through PayPal. We have just started the domestic business as well,” said Anupam Pahuja, managing director and country manager, India, PayPal.

He added, “We are going forward with many different offerings. PayPal is all about partnerships. We do not want to build our eco-system and do everything on our own.”

PayPal partners with Visa, ICICI, Google, and Apple. “If there are acquisitions that make sense for us, we will undertake them. We will actively look at acquiring companies in the fin-tech space in India.”

PayPal has market capitalisation close to $88 billion and competes with global giants such as Alibaba. It is working on localising technology to increase user base.

The company is, however, yet to apply for a prepaid payments instrument (PPI) licence and is still looking at the different options available to a unified payments interface (UPI).

“Almost 90 per cent of India’s transactions still happen in cash. We do not have challenges that start-ups face. We do not have short-term goals, we are here for the long haul and the domestic business would be pivotal for us. We have big plans for India and we are looking to become the number one player in the country over the next three to five years in the fin-tech segment,” added Pahuja.

PayPal and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) have also got into a partnership to promote exports while leveraging the technology and experience of each other.

PayPal will work with the FIEO to educate subject matter experts on how to leverage global opportunities, help them receive money in a safe and timely manner, with PayPal products such as invoicing, and bring to them global best practices from across 200 markets.

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