Flipkart has again exercised the option of routing funds to its operation in India through its Singapore subsidiary, Flipkart Payments. This time Rs 518 crore have been released to the startupâ€™s digital payments app PhonePe. It has been explained that Flipkart had already made a commitment of pumping in $500 million into PhonePe and the current fund infusion is part of that commitment.
It is also learnt that PhonePe, the company has allotted its 24.5 lakh shares to Flipkart Payments in exchange for Rs 518 crore. Even as Flipkart is battling strong competitors like Amazon in the ecommerce business the digital payments segment is also getting crowded with powerful players like Google and WhatsApp entering the fray. The ecommerce rival Paytm is spreading its tentacles with the same UPI interface.
Yes Bank is the associate Flipkart uses for operating its payment gateway PhonePe, based on UPI and does have a sizeable share of the payments being handled using UPI. Flipkart has even had to clarify that its figures are far higher that some others who claimed they were doing better that PhonePe when UPI released the official figures and statistics last time.
PhonePe was acquired by Flipkart in April 2016 and has been downloaded 75 million times. As per their version, PhonePe enjoys the highest share amongst UPI users, in terms of merchant transactions on account of bill payments and recharges. Flipkart has invested in the POS terminals also as an offline business activity to strengthen and expand the PhonePe brand.
PhonePe is currently accepted by over 60,000 online and offline merchants including MakeMyTrip, PVR, McDonaldâ€™s, Flipkart, ClearTrip, Myntra, KFC, TicketNew, Spencerâ€™s, Faasos, CafĂ© Coffee Day, Apollo Pharmacy, ZopNow, Barista, FoodWorld and Pai International among others.
Most recently, it partnered with online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy to enable customers to pay on Swiggy using PhonePe.
It has stated that it will be looking at several partnerships and acquisitions to expand its offerings and customer base. Most recently, it also collaborated with redBus to offer an app-in-app payment platform.