India is a highly cash dependent country. Where a sizeable amount of population still doesn’t have bank accounts and who save and transact purely in cash. Cash that’s accounted for. If I’d be making a list of countries on the cusp of going cashless and adapting digital transactions, India wouldn’t be anywhere near the top.
Yet, because of India’s decision to declare Rs 500 and 1000 notes to be invalid (to fight the rise of black money), that’s exactly what’s been happening. Of course, we’re still long ways from being truly cashless but in the times where there are long lines at ATM, some users, even in rural areas are being pushed to adopt to something else. And mostly, it’s Paytm. Currently India’s most popular digital wallet. If you want to start paying offline merchants using Paytm (a lot of then are adopting to it now), follow our guide on how to set up PayTM and get started.
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Paytm Basics: Things You Need to Know
- What can it do: First of all, there’s a lot you can do with Paytm, recharge your prepaid mobile phones, pay your postpaid mobile phone bills, top up DTH, metro cards, electricity bills, insurance premium and more. Paytm is itself an e-commerce platform (marketplace) and they keep adding new stuff every week. You can book flights, movies, home rooms, even buy gold from Paytm. Safe to say, once you do start using Paytm, there’s a lot of places where you’ll be able to use it.
- Paytm Wallet: Paytm Wallet is a digital wallet that lives inside your Paytm account. You transfer money to the wallet from your bank account or credit/debit card and then use the money in the Wallet to pay for things we talked about above. The concept in itself is pretty simple. And you can link your Paytm account to a number of startups and apps to pay directly using your Paytm wallet. Buying movie tickets from BookMyShow or dinner from Zomato Order has never been easier.
- Paytm Wallet limit: Paytm Wallet has a Rs 10,000/month transaction limit. You can’t add more than that to your wallet each month. There is a way to extend the limit to Rs 1,00,000 via the KYC (Know Your Customer) process. This lets you have Rs 1,00,000 in your account at any time. There will be no limit on transactions.
- Paytm security: Paytm is an RBI approved wallet and it puts your money under an Escrow account with a reputable bank (according to Paytm). They use Verisign-certified 128-bit encryption. Which means that the secret key used in transaction doesn’t reveal anything about the actual transaction.
- Getting KYC process done: This is a bit annoying. To get the KYC done, you’ll need to a merchant that accepts Paytm. Paytm gives you a list of all such places near you. Once there, you need to submit a recent photo and a self-attested copy of an identity proof. If you submit Aadhar card, you’ll be verified instantly (using biometric digital authentication of the Aadhar card). Other means like Passport take upto 48 hours (more info here).
- Regional language support: Other than English, Paytm can be used in 10 regional languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Punjabi.
How to Create an Account
Making a transaction in Paytm requires you to have an account. To make one, open the Paytm app and tap on the “Profile” tab. Tap on “Hello! Login to Paytm” section on the top. Then tap on “Sign up” on the top-right.
Here, enter your mobile phone number, email (optional) and create your password. Then tap on “Sign up“.
Later you’ll need to verify your email and phone number to be able to withdraw money from your Paytm account. It’s as simple as clicking a verification link.
How to Add Money to Wallet
If you’re going to be using Paytm to pay for Uber rides or local merchants that accept it, the first thing to do is add money to your wallet.
From “Home“, tap on “Add Money“.
Enter the amount and tap on “Add Money“.
You’ll get to the “Payment Details” page. If this is your first time, you’ll need to add a payment method here – Debit card, Credit card, Net Banking or ATM card.
Once you add a source, it will show up in the “Saved Details” section so neat time you can just type in your CVV and tap “Pay Now” to authenticate.
You’ll now be taken to your bank’s verification page where you’ll need to enter your OTP code. Once that’s done you’ll see an order summary. the money has been added to your wallet. Tap on the “Back” button to go back to the home page.
How to Send Money or Pay at POS Terminals
Now that you’ve got money in the wallet, next thing to do is to spend it. And there are 4 different ways to do it. Mostly you’ll be doing either one of two things – scanning a QR code that the merchant has stuck up, or sending money to a mobile number – either your friend’s or a merchants.
Other option is to show a barcode generated on your device and an option to send money to a bank account.
From the home screen, tap on “Pay/Send”
To send money using a QR code, tap on “Scan code” and hold your phone over the QR code to authenticate and pay.
To send money using mobile number, tap on “Mobile no.“, type in the mobile number (or select it from your contact book by tapping the contact book icon to the right), type in the amount and then what it’s for. Then tap on “Send money“.
You’ll get a confirmation. The receiving party will get a SMS telling them about the money they’ve received. They can go to the “Passbook” section to see the transaction details and the money will be added to their Wallet balance.
Offline payments: If you aren’t connected to the internet, you can still pay merchants if you use the QR code or bar code option from the “Pay or Send” section. You’ll get an OTP message for authentication. For rural areas, that are especially cash crunched, this is a great feature.
How to Request Money
If you’re affected by the demonetization, where you’ll having difficulty getting your customers to pay cash, you can ask them to send the money to your Paytm account. You can then directly withdraw your balance to your bank account (there’s a 4% fee for normal Paytm customers for doing that). Of course, if you haven’t done the KYC process you can only recieve upto Rs 10,000 in a month. KYC takes it up to Rs 1,00,000.
If you’re a merchant, we advice you sign up for a Paytm Business account where there’s no such limit. We’ll get to that later.
Right now let’s talk about how you can request money and get paid.
From the app’s home screen, tap on “Request Money“. From here you can either type in a mobile number and request money from them by sending them a notification. Or you can generate a QR code.
To request money using the phone number, just type it in, the amount, and tap on “Request money“.
An alternate way, if both parties are in the same place, is to generate a QR code. Beside the “Mobile Number“, tap on the QR code icon. Write the amount and tap on “Generate QR code“.
The other party can then scan this QR code by going to the “Pay/Send Money” section. You can also tap the “Share” button and share the QR code to an app like WhatsApp.
You’ll get an SMS when the person has paid you the money. And you’ll be able to see it in the Passbook.
So that’s how it is to pay for something with Paytm. Either scan a code, or enter a mobile phone number. Sometimes a merchant will ask you for your phone number and you’ll get an OTP on your phone to confirm the transaction.
How to Withdraw Money from Paytm Wallet to Bank Account
Once you’ve received your money, you’ll want to withdraw it to your bank account. For normal accounts, Paytm charges 1% as a transaction fee till 31st December 2016 (after which it will be 4%). If you’re a merchant, there’s no fee till the end of the year.
To withdraw money, tap on “Pay/Send“, switch to “Send to Bank” and write in all your bank details. Minimum amount you can send is Rs 100.
How To Sign Up and Use Paytm For Your Business
If you’re running a retail business, you’re going to run out of the Rs 1,00,000 limit for normal Paytm accounts pretty soon.
You should sign up for a Paytm Business account from this page. This will give you a Paytm QR Code so your customers can accept payment simply by scanning the code. They can also send money to the mobile phone connected to your account.
There is no charge for receiving money. There’s also no setup fee.
If you’re a Non KYC merchant (unverified), you’ll need to pay 1% charges when transferring money to your bank account (down from 4%). Till 31st December 2016, bank withdrawals for KYC customers are completely free of charge.
Your Demonitezation Experience
How has your life been affected by demonetization? Have you gone cashless? More importantly, have merchants around you started accepting Paytm? Share with us in the comments below.