In a bid to extend its platform and compete with market leader Paytm, Flipkart’s UPI-based payments platform PhonePe plans to open its technology stack for third-party merchant apps by the third quarter starting July, wherein companies can voluntarily create and link their own micro apps to its portal.
The PhonePe platform will act like an API, where merchants can develop their apps using a pre-designed software development kit, with specific guidelines to build engaging experience on the platform, co-founder and CTO Rahul Chari told Moneycontrol.
PhonePe had earlier this month announced an integration of its platform with rival Freecharge.
“This is in line with our strategy to create an open payments ecosystem. Until the end of next quarter, we will focus on building partnerships to populate the app-in-app experience. Post this we will open up the platform for businesses to build and deploy apps on the platform. It has the potential for them to leverage over 65 million PhonePe users without worrying about distribution,” Chari added.
PhonePe this week announced its first exclusive partnership with online bus-ticketing platform redBus, as part of its app-in-app strategy. redBus has now gone live with an exclusive store on the PhonePe app.
The company is currently in talks with several businesses with high-frequency transactions in sectors such as food delivery, ticketing, entertainment for exclusive partnerships over the next six months.
PhonePe also has offline point-of-sale (POS) presence, besides integrating third-party wallets such as FreeCharge on its platform. The idea behind the partnerships and offline push, Chari says, is to make payments interoperable and to move beyond money transfers to enable day-to-day transactions.
“We have one of the largest transacting bases, so it makes complete sense for businesses to invest here, scale up faster than create their own app,” Chari added.
PhonePe currently offers peer-to-peer payments, online payments on Flipkart, besides other services such as mobile recharge.
The company processed 38 million total transactions in December, compared with 33 million in November. The annual run rate of total payments volume in December stood at Rs 50,000 crore.
PhonePe is targeting Rs 80,000 crore total payments volume annual run rate by March.
In October last year, Flipkart committed to an investment of USD 500 million in PhonePe, in addition to the USD 75 million it put in the venture when it acquired it in 2016.