How we revolutionised QR and took UPI to every nook & corner of India

byPreeti VermaLast Updated: March 1, 2023

From a cash-reliant nation to a digital-first economy, India’s payment landscape has undergone a massive transformation thanks to our QR and digital payments pioneer’s range of innovative products tailored to meet the needs of Indian consumers and merchants. The results of our pioneering work speak for us. In fact, our associate Paytm Payments Bank is a leader in UPI P2M payments – the largest acquiring and beneficiary bank.

Our revolutionary solutions have transformed India’s payments and commerce landscape, making digital transactions accessible across the length and breadth of the country. Our Wallet, launched in 2014, was widely adopted by those making digital and mobile payments for the first time. Our trailblazing spirit continued with the launch of the QR payment system in 2015. This solution was a massive win for merchants, especially small shopkeepers, who could accept digital payments at zero upfront costs, without requiring an internet connection or a POS machine.

We recognized the need for a payment solution that would be affordable, easy to use, and safe for both retailers and consumers. As a pioneer in the digital payments space, we have developed the QR code-based payment method for brick-and-mortar stores and became the first to introduce this groundbreaking technology to in-store merchants throughout India.

Our product readiness and scalable platform helped us accelerate the adoption of QR codes among merchants when the Indian government announced demonetisation in 2016. Our QR code solution was enhanced in January 2020 with the All-in-One QR, which became the sole source QR code for merchants to accept payments from our Payment Instruments, third-party sources, and all UPI instruments.  

In recent years, our UPI has driven India’s transition to non-cash payments for both P2P fund transfers and merchant payments. Paytm UPI has been driving the country’s digital transaction volumes in recent years, and our rapid deployment of low-cost QR codes has brought underpenetrated merchant segments that once preferred cash-based payments into the digital payments fold. 

During the Q3 FY 2023 earnings call, our Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that the company’s focus on merchant payments has created a scalable UPI revenue model in the subscription. “I feel highly positive and inspired by the adoption of our device business, especially Soundbox which has led to significant scale in UPI acquiring,” he said.

We have built a merchant network of over 30 million businesses spread across 450 cities and towns, and plan to expand this to about 1,000 towns over the next two to three years. Today, more merchants use our QR codes compared to any other payments companies in India.

But our innovation didn’t stop there. In 2020, we launched our Soundbox, a state-of-the-art payment acceptance device that uses IoT technology to provide real-time audio confirmation for payment completion, ensuring a seamless payment experience for customers and merchants alike. Today, our Soundbox is seen in every merchant’s shop and has become an industry standard where every other fintech company is hopping on the Soundbox bandwagon.

We continue to strengthen our market leadership in offline devices, with the number of merchants paying subscriptions for payment devices like our Soundbox and POS reaching 6.1 million at the end of January 2023, an increase of 0.3 million in the month.

Our success in revolutionizing digital payments in India has made us one of the most innovative and impactful companies in the fintech industry. With our wide range of payment options and payment devices, we have made it easy for millions of Indian consumers and merchants to transition to a cashless economy. Building on this success, we are now also leading the charge in digital lending, offering convenient loans to people and businesses across the country.

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