PhonePe, a top Indian payment app opens its data firehose Everyone

PhonePe, one of the largest digital payments services in India, on Thursday launched Pulse, a free product to offer insights into how people in the world’s second largest internet market are paying digitally.

And PhonePe would know: the Flipkart-backed five-year-old startup said its insights are based on over 22 billion transactions it has processed over the years.

Pulse provides unprecedented insight into the impact digital payments have had on Indian districts, states and more than 19,000 zip code areas. This new product provides granular information such as how many transactions were conducted in one state between users and merchants or to pay utility bills.

It said that the startup has anonymized user data. The startup will also publish data analysis and major reports every year. The startup also published its maiden report (PDF) Thursday.

A look at PhonePe’s Pulse product (Screengrab)

PhonePe founder and chief executive Sameer Nigam stated at a virtual conference, that PhonePe also makes its insights freely available via an API which is open to academics and analysts.

In the last five years, more than 100 million Indians started transacting digitally. This was largely due to New Delhi’s 2016 move to ban large amounts of cash and the establishment of UPI railways in India by Indian retail banks. These railroads allow for interoperability between apps. PhonePe has more than 40% market share and UPI is the preferred method of digital payment for Indians.

A number of international companies, including Amazon, Google, Facebook and Amazon, have jumped on the mobile payment boom in India. Credit Suisse estimates that India’s mobile payment market will reach $1 trillion in 2023.

PhonePe’s communication team initially thought of Pulse as a way to clarify the behavior of digital payments. There has been too much unsubstantiated noise in the sector, executives from PhonePe said during a Thursday virtual event.

Nigam answered a question about losing competitive advantage and said that PhonePe publishes the data to benefit the greater good of the community. He encouraged others in the sector to follow his lead. He said that the data can help companies make better decisions.

It is still a story in progress. There will be more to come.

Publiated at Thu, 2 Sep 2021 8:15:46 +0000

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