The world of digital payments is witnessing a seismic shift, with PhonePe, Walmart’s digital payments subsidiary, making waves by achieving a Total Payment Volume (TPV) of $1.3 trillion. This remarkable milestone places PhonePe in league with some of the largest fintech players in the US market, prompting discussions about its potential impact and the future trajectory of both PhonePe and its parent company, Walmart.
The $1.3 Trillion Achievement:
At the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference, PhonePe’s Chief Financial Officer, John David Rainey, recently disclosed that the fintech platform had achieved a TPV of $1.3 trillion. To put this in context, PhonePe now ranks alongside some of the biggest fintech companies in the US, with market capitalizations exceeding $100 billion, thanks to this TPV. This information highlights PhonePe’s quick expansion and prominence in the world of digital payments.
IPO Plans and Financial Backing:
PhonePe has been preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), which is expected to take place in 2024–2025, despite its outstanding achievements. Walmart valued PhonePe at an astounding $12 billion in March after investing an additional $200 million in primary capital, realizing the potential of its digital payments division. This calculated action demonstrates Walmart’s faith in PhonePe’s future and emphasizes the role that fintech plays in the retail behemoth’s broader business plan.
Walmart’s Fintech Portfolio:
Walmart’s foray into the fintech landscape is not limited to PhonePe. The retail giant also boasts Flipkart, a prominent e-commerce player in its portfolio. Rainey revealed that both PhonePe and Flipkart are contemplating potential paths toward an IPO or going public in the future. This signals a broader trend of retail companies diversifying into the digital financial realm, leveraging the growing influence of fintech in consumer transactions.
Potential Impact on Profitability:
As PhonePe and Flipkart move closer to a potential IPO, Rainey suggests that improvements in profitability may follow suit. The consolidation of these entities under Walmart’s umbrella has already contributed to reducing losses in their Profit and Loss (P&L) statements. This implies a positive trend for investors and underscores the financial prudence of Walmart’s strategic acquisitions.
Flipkart’s Ambitious Public Issue:
Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy previously announced plans for a public issue, exploring multiple geographies, including India. The anticipated public issue is rumored to be in the range of $60-70 billion, showcasing the substantial value that Flipkart brings to Walmart’s diversified portfolio. Despite Flipkart India’s increased net loss in FY23, the company’s growth trajectory remains a focal point for Walmart’s strategic vision.
While Flipkart India experienced a rise in standalone net loss, PhonePe recorded a commendable increase in revenue. In the financial year ending March 31, 2023, PhonePe reported a revenue of INR 2,914 crores, marking a substantial 77% growth from the previous fiscal year. The surge in revenue is attributed to the platform’s expansion into various financial services, including money transfers, mobile recharges, bill payments, and merchant lending.
Diversification and Innovation:
PhonePe’s success is not solely attributed to transaction volumes. The platform has actively diversified its product offerings, launching the Indus Appstore Developer Platform for Android app developers to compete with industry giants like Apple and Google. Additionally, PhonePe has ventured into the merchant lending space, showcasing a commitment to innovation and staying ahead in the highly competitive fintech landscape.
PhonePe’s impressive rise to prominence in the digital payments space is demonstrated by its achievement of a $1.3 trillion Total Payment Volume. The impact on profitability and market dynamics will surely be closely watched as Flipkart investigates its public issue and Walmart’s digital payments business gets closer to a possible IPO. The fintech industry is changing quickly, and Walmart’s calculated actions show that it is committed to continuing to lead the way in financial technology innovation in the years to come.