PhonePe on Thursday said it has partnered cab aggregator Ola that will allow riders to book rides using the former’s payment platform. “With this partnership, our users can enjoy the ease of using their preferred ride sharing app from within PhonePe while being assured of the reliability and integrity of their payments,” PhonePe co-founder and CTO Rahul Chari said.
He added that PhonePe has also added ‘Auto-pay’ feature that allows users to make payments seamlessly. Chari added that users can switch off ‘Auto-pay’ instructions anytime they want.
“This is part of our vision of being an open payments ecosystem, enabling businesses of all sizes to build and deploy apps on our platform with a unified login and payments experience for our users,” he said.
This will enable businesses to reach out with their services to a highly relevant and rapidly growing base of over 100 million PhonePe users, he added.
Going forward, PhonePe is rapidly adding partners in the travel, hospitality, ticketing and food segments to its micro-app platform, the official said.
PhonePe is owned by Flipkart in which US retailer Walmart recently had bought ownership stake. Meanwhile, Walmart believes Flipkart’s “ecosystem” of businesses, including Myntra-Jabong and PhonePe which are part of its mega USD 16 billion deal with the Indian company, could be a “true advantage” for the US-based retail giant.
Judith McKenna, Executive VP, President and CEO of Walmart International, on a recent investor call has said the e-commerce market in India, while it is still nascent at 2 per cent penetration, is forecast to grow rapidly.
“… what’s really unusual about Flipkart is that it’s not just an e-commerce retailer. What we’re really interested in as we’ve got to understand this business better is it’s actually creating a platform, an ecosystem, if you like, of operating within that market. And we think that’s one of the areas that gives it a true advantage,” she said.
The executive emphasised that Walmart is also looking at taking its learnings “from this business back into other businesses around the world”.
In May, Walmart had signed a blockbuster deal with Flipkart (registered in Singapore) under which the American retailer will pick up about 77 per cent stake for about USD 16 billion. The transaction is now awaiting approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
Walmart expects the deal to close later this calendar year, subject to regulatory approvals. Various trader bodies in India have opposed the deal alleging violation of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms as foreign companies are not allowed to operate in multi-brand retail in the country yet.
The American retailer, which has cash-and carry operations (B2B) in India, has clarified that its business will continue to operate separately from Flipkart (which has a marketplace model) but leverage the combined strengths of both the companies. India allows 100 per cent FDI in the e-commerce via marketplace model.
McKenna explained that while Flipkart’s general merchandise site is by far the biggest part of the business, there are other growing businesses like Myntra and Jabong as well. DNA