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One97 Communications launching m-commerce marketplace on Paytm app

PaytmNoida-based mobile internet firm One97 Communications Ltd is launching a mobile-only marketplace where users will be able to purchase products offered by its partner merchants using the company's existing Paytm app.

The m-commerce platform, which will go live by the end of this month, will offer apparels, home decor and accessories. However, the order fulfilment will be taken care of by the respective retailer, the company's co-founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.

The firm has partnered with around more than 1,000 merchants so far.

The development was first reported by The Economic Times.

"We understand that the country needs a mobile marketplace, because mobile has now become the first device for SMEs as well as consumers. Here, we are creating a bottom-up mobile-only marketplace where consumers meet merchants. It is not the baby site of an internet, but is a pure mobile app," One97 chairman and managing director Vijay Shekhar Sharma told Techcircle.in.

Sharma claimed that One97 generates the largest mobile commerce volume in the country, and last month alone it processed more than 4.5 million orders (recharges, deals and tickets). "With this kind of a volume, we believe that a large number of our consumers will be able to shop for many more items using the app," he said.

Here is how it works:  Once the app (which is currently used for mobile & DTH recharges besides bus ticketing) is downloaded and installed on the mobile device, consumers would be able to see and browse through hundreds of categories for various products listed by merchants. Once the items are purchased, consumers can use the Paytm wallet and checkout. Once the process is over, the items will be home-delivered by respective merchants.

Early this month, the company had announced that it is launching a semi-closed wallet, post securing licence from RBI. This will also allow consumers to use the new semi-closed wallet across several online merchants.

According to a SAP study, consumers in India are leading the demand for m-commerce services, with 97 per cent of them asking for more mobile interactions with banks, telcos, retailers, utilities and other businesses, and One97 is looking to tap into this opportunity. One97's m-commerce platform will intensify the competition in the online retail space which is dominated by Flipkart.com.

A few months ago, online business directory Just Dial had also announced the launch of an online marketplace which will offer a one-stop shop for users to undertake multiple day-to-day tasks such as online booking of restaurants, cab booking and doctor's appointments.

Paytm will compete with apps of various online marketplace ventures, including Amazon, eBay, Snapdeal and so on. As such, it would be a play on execution while tapping on to the existing users of its recharge and bus ticketing site.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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