Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), on Friday demanded a probe into the alleged China connection of the country’s top mobile wallet provider Paytm.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder and CEO of Paytm. New Delhi-NCR based One97 Communications owns the Paytm brand. The company’s investors include Ant Financials (AliPay), Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners.
Based in China, Alibaba is one of the leading e-commerce giants in the world.
“There are reports that Paytm has connection with Chinese firm Alibaba. This is a matter of concern and needs to be probed,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convener of the SJM, told IANS.
Ever since the demonetisation drive, millions of consumers and merchants across the country have been opting for mobile payments via Paytm. The company has added over five million new users since the demonetisation was implemented.
Mahajan said the SJM welcomes the government’s initiative towards creating a cashless society, but expressed concern about a few things.
Giving reasons for his concern, Mahajan said, “We strongly suspect that Chinese firms may steal our banking data through such channels and may misuse it.”
The users have to furnish their debit/credit card and bank account numbers while using apps like Paytm.
“What is the percentage of foreign investment in Paytm? To what extent the firm’s management is controlled by foreign players? These are a few questions we should have answers of,” he added.
He said that no Indian company should be sharing data with foreign companies and the investment routes should be made very transparent.
“We would take up the matter with the finance and commerce ministries,” Mahajan said.
He also raised objection over Paytm using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture in its advertisements.
Paytm last month said it has registered over 7 million transactions worth Rs 120 crore in a day after the demonetisation drive started as millions of consumers and merchants across the country are opting for mobile payments on its platform for the first time.
The company said it has served over 45 million users in the last 10 days alone and over 5 million new users were added since the demonetisation drive started.
“From consumers being able to pay for a cup of coffee in metros, to farmers purchasing seeds using Paytm in Kurnool, we are witnessing an exponential increase in adoption of Paytm as a way to pay by both consumers and merchants alike. We are working round-the-clock to ensure we can enable users and merchants to complete everyday transactions seamlessly,” said Paytm Vice President Sudhanshu Gupta.
With offline transactions now contributing to over 65 per cent of the overall business, the company has also expanded its merchant network by 150,000 additional merchants. This will ensure that consumers have more shops in their neighbourhood accepting Paytm than ever before.
The company is currently doing more transactions than the combined average daily usage of credit and debit cards in India.
Paytm now has a current user base of 150 million.
Non-banking sector grows
According to RBI data, currently as many as 67 banks are offering mobile services to 120 million customers.
An immediate fallout of the demonetisation of high value notes would be a mushrooming growth of non-bank entities like Paytm and Free charge into the payment business, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday citing a study.
Assocham said one of the results of the demonetisation of high value notes would be a mushrooming growth in the number of non-bank players like Paytm and Free charge into the payment business, as more and more retailers in the goods and service value chain would be compelled to shift to non-cash modes for customer transactions.
Assocham said while as many as 45 pre-paid payment instruments (PPI) players working as mobile and digital wallets have started offering services, it is only a handful of operators which have been aggressively ramping up and marketing their operations.