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Paytm issued 3 million FASTags; seeks to add 2 million by March

The expansion would also involve tie-ups with leading car makers Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, and MG Motor, offering pre-fitted Paytm FASTags at the time of vehicle purchase.

, ET Bureau|
Jan 14, 2020, 08.40 AM IST
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“The bank is further boosting the sale of FASTags by deploying 10,000 business correspondents in all major cities and towns across the country,” Paytm said in a statement.
MUMBAI: Paytm has emerged as India’s biggest issuer of FASTags, with its payment bank unit deploying more than 3 million of these devices to date, and seeking to add another 2 million before FY20 draws to a close.

The expansion would also involve tie-ups with leading car makers Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Honda, Kia, and MG Motor, offering pre-fitted Paytm FASTags at the time of vehicle purchase. In December itself, since the use of FASTag was made mandatory by the government, the company has deployed 40% of all FASTags issued, it said.

“The bank is further boosting the sale of FASTags by deploying 10,000 business correspondents in all major cities and towns across the country,” Paytm said in a statement. The market shares of rival service providers and their device deployment statistics could not be immediately ascertained.

Having installed interoperable toll payment solutions at 110 toll plazas under NPCI’s National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program, the payment bank has also emerged as the second-largest acquiring bank as well, the Softbank-backed company said.

FASTags are electronically activated radio frequency identification stickers introduced first by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway (MoRTH) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2014 to facilitate cashless collection of tolls at highway checkpoints. These deployments come a few months after the company raised $1 billion through investment rounds led by US-based asset manager T Rowe Price along with existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund.

“Last year, we announced Rs 10,000 crore worth of investments for the next few years which are primarily for customer acquisition and merchant onboarding,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm CEO, told ET in a recent interview. “There is an immense opportunity in providing our customer base with value-added financial services.”

The FASTag expansion follows the company’s strategy of adding new customers via partnership models and introduction of value-added services. However, acquisition costs account for a significant share of Paytm’s operating costs.

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