Walmart-owned digital wallet company PhonePe has rolled out ATM service that would enable its customers to exchange digital money or wallet balance for ready cash. The facility can be availed via the 'withdraw' button on the PhonePe mobile app.
For the service, PhonePe has geotagged as many as 5 lakh retail merchants that have surplus cash such that its users can go to their nearby merchant outlets for converting their wallet balance into cash.
As part of its new value-added offering, the company intends to augment merchant participation over its platform for both consumers as well as local merchants.
"We are seeing that banks are not finding it viable to operate ATM and that is the reason several ATMs are dry on cash," a leading business daily quoted Vivek Lohcheb, Head of Offline Business Development, PhonePe as saying. "It's even more (of a problem) in tier 3 and 4 towns where the lack of availability of cash has become a cause for concern," he added.
The digital wallet company is of the view that after the merchant discount rates (MDR) waiver, addition of such offerings to the company's current line-up of business channels will be key driver for future growth amid high competition with now Whatsapp all set to come up with its payments platform to take hold of customer and merchant engagement similar to Paytm and Google.
The company already conducted its pilot project in NCR region and now will roll out the new digital ATM service across a network of 5 lakh merchants in as many as 300 cities. To locate, the nearby merchants offering the digital ATM service, customers can use the PhonePe app.