Customers satisfied with new functionality and speed of chat
Founded in 2010, Paytm is India’s leading financial services company that offers full-stack payments and solutions to consumers, offline merchants, and online platforms. Paytm’s mission is to bring half a billion Indians into the mainstream economy through payments, commerce, banking, investments, and financial services.
In March 2021 alone, Paytm recorded over 1.4 billion transactions. With over 21 million merchant partners on board, the company currently maintains the highest market share in offline payments in India. In addition, it is the only platform in the country that promotes all digital payments services, including Paytm Wallet, UPI, Paytm Postpaid, cards, and net banking.
The MVP bar for chat is so high that we would have to invest significant resources with this product complexity, this feature complexity of real-time messaging… along with our existing complexities, Sendbird really offloaded all of that from us.
Paytm has recognized that chat has become a heavily commoditized feature across virtually all industries, from finance to healthcare, on-demand services, and everything in between. Given this climate, Paytm’s product team sought to further innovate its user experience, and explore how it could better serve the millions of customers using the platform every day.
Traditionally, Paytm has viewed transaction history as simply a chronological list of payment records. However, the company wanted to address three different pillars and bring them to the forefront of the company’s money transfer interface:
Paytm understood that building messaging functionality in-house would be an incredibly complex task. Payments would come from multiple service channels such as Paytm UPI, Paytm wallet, Paytm postpaid, Paytm payments bank, and more. According to Paytm Insider Head of Product Abhishek Madan, “all of these are presented in the same user experience. These are completely separate backends that have nothing to do with each other, and our attempt is to bring all of this data and show it in one place. It’s a massive tech complication.”
Furthermore, due to the heavily regulated nature of each product, developing chat in-house would be an immense compliance undertaking as well. Madan emphasizes that PMs would have to additionally oversee chat for the company’s “lending insurance and equity trading businesses, and to have all of these in one UX requires us to work very closely with compliance teams. Three years ago, each of these products was probably a standalone company.”
With the sheer scale of Paytm’s user base paired with its breadth of offerings, the company needed a service that could offload the complexity and resources necessary to stand up a high-functioning chat interface while simultaneously offer the features customers desired. With Sendbird, Paytm could concentrate on developing its core money transfer features and go to market quickly without the burdens that come with developing chat functionality. “The MVP bar for chat is so high that we would have to invest significant resources with this product complexity, this feature complexity of real-time messaging,” Madan explains, “along with our existing complexities, Sendbird really offloaded all of that from us.”
Across its service suite, Paytm supports more than 333 million users, and in partnering with Sendbird, has sent over 1 billion messages to date. This scale is supported by the Sendbird Platform API, which has given Paytm the building blocks necessary to create many of its rich features and interfaces used today. Madan states, “when you think about Paytm, we’re pretty wide… We have all of these apps, and because of these platform APIs, I can build walled gardens that I can deploy into each of these apps. So the work I do once is reusable by every business unit inside Paytm. So Sendbird’s platform is a massive help.”
Within the Paytm main app, users have access to a messages section that Madan refers to as a “chat powered payments and engagement platform… and represents a change in how users look at transaction history.” Here, Paytm has invested in what it calls an “identities-first approach” where users can simply tap on a contact’s profile and instantly see a clear view of who they are, conversations discussed, what payments were made, when they occurred, and for what purpose. These actions link deeply within Paytm’s money transfer suite and allow for a convenient and rich experience for end-users, entirely contained within the company’s ecosystem.
In a survey of Paytm customers, over 85% of the user base was satisfied with both the new functionality and speed of chat within the application.