Alibaba-Backed Payments Startup Paytm Takes Big Step Into Canada

  • Its mobile app will help Canadians pay their bills and taxes
  • One97’s Paytm is eyeing new markets after rapid growth at home

Paytm, the Indian mobile payments startup backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has begun its global expansion by launching a mobile bill and tax payment service in Canada.

Starting Thursday, Paytm’s Canadian smartphone app lets users there pay their phone, cable, internet and utility bills as well as insurance and property taxes, the company said in an emailed statement.

Paytm, also backed by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial, already runs a team of data scientists and engineers in Toronto building payment and e-commerce technologies. Paytm Labs, its research division, uses big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to build products.

Parent One97 Communications, which operates the Paytm consumer brand, grew rapidly in 2016 after India scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes, eradicating some four-fifths of the nation’s paper money in a so-called demonetization. With some 200 million registered users, the group recently launched digital banking and is now eyeing markets abroad.

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