As everyone is getting used to living with limited cash, at least temporarily, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes earlier this week, companies operating digital wallets and other forms of electronic currency have witnessed increased interest from users. The likes of Paytm, MobiKwik, FreeCharge have all seen an uptick in various metrics, and even used this week to introduce new features like wallet on delivery.
Continuing the trend, Paytm on Friday announced a new ‘Nearby’ feature that will make it easier to discover merchants that accept the wallet. This will help customers who are short of cash in the current situation to easily discover merchants that accept Paytm. Paytm ‘Nearby’ will carry a directory of over 8 lakh Paytm’s offline merchants and partners across India, the company said in an emailed statement, with over 2 lakh merchants included in the first phase.
(Also see: FreeCharge, Paytm, Ola Money, MobiKwik, and Others: What’s the Deal With All These Wallets?)
The company says customers on their Paytm app or the Paytm website can now browse through a list of shops & locations near them that offer services like accepting Paytm, adding cash to Paytm wallet, and upgrading accounts by doing KYC. However, at the time of filing this story, the option wasn’t visible on the website or the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps.
Commenting on the announcement, Sonia Dhawan – DGM, Paytm, said, “At Paytm, our approach has always been to build an ecosystem that benefits both merchants & customers. I am confident that while our customers will appreciate the increased convenience of finding Paytm services near them, our merchants & partners will value the exponential increase in visibility and new business ‘Nearby’ feature will bring. This is a great example of how mobile technology can drive business across the retail industry by redefining the hyperlocal space.”