Paytm to turn payments bank with $1.4 bn loan from SoftBank

India's largest mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm has raised $1.4 billion from Japanese Internet and telecom major SoftBank Group, making it the biggest investment by the Japanese company in India.

Paytm said this investment will help it grow leadership in the country's payment ecosystem, expand its user base and build a suite of financial services products for its users, including the payments bank.

Paytm plans to invest Rs10,000 crore (about $1.6 billion) over the next 3-5 years in its payment bank, which, it said, would help the company move towards its committed goal of enabling half a billion Indians through financial inclusion.

The company will soon launch ''the Paytm Payments Bank, a mobile-first product that will reach every corner of the nation, and focus on the millions of unserved and under-served Indians.''

''We are at an inflection point in our journey with Paytm. This investment by Softbank and support of the incredible entrepreneur Masa Son is a great endorsement of our team's execution and vision.We believe we have a great opportunity to bring financial inclusion to half a billion Indians,'' Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.

''In line with the Indian government's vision to promote digital inclusion, we are committed to transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of Indian consumers and merchants by providing them digital access to a broad array of financial services, including mobile payments. We are excited to partner with Paytm in this journey and will provide them with all our support,'' said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, SoftBank Group Corp.

Delhi-based Paytm is India's largest bill payment and recharge platform. There has also been a significant uptake in its movie ticketing, and travel booking (rail, bus and flight tickets) businesses. It was launched in August 2010 as an online recharges and bill payments platform and soon expanded into ubiquitous online and offline use-cases.

In January 2014, it launched the Paytm Wallet, a digital wallet now with over 220 million users and is accepted as the preferred mode of payment by over 5 million offline merchants across India.