Mobile wallet provider Paytm announced it would invest INR2.5 billion ($36 million) by the end of 2019 to extend its QR code-based payment system into merchants across smaller towns in India, The Economic Times reported.
By the end of December, the company aims to have extended availability to retailers in towns defined as “tier-four and tier-five” in terms of size. Following the expansion drive, it plans to have the service available in 20 million merchants compared to an estimated 12 million currently using the system.
The company said on-boarding merchants in smaller towns is three-to-four times more costly than in large urban centres.
It plans to eventually sign-up every merchant in India to the Paytm QR Code system, a move it said would help boost financial inclusion in the most remote areas of the country.
In the hugely competitive Indian mobile payments market, Paytm has previously actively targeted expansion into parts of the country underserved by financial technology. In 2018, the company revealed it had made significant inroads into rural areas with users spread across 300,000 villages.