Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has said the homegrown fintech giant is investing in Artificial Intelligence, with an eye on building an "Artificial General Intelligence" software stack. This India-scale AI system will help various financial institutes in capturing possible risks and frauds, while also protecting them from new kinds of risks due to the advancement in AI, sharma adds.

"We believe by building it in India we are not only making our country’s tech capability, also creating something that could be leveraged outside India," says Sharma in his annual report FY2023 letter to shareholders.

He says Paytm pioneered mobile payments in India and led mass adoption with innovations like QR Codes and Soundbox. "In India, we can expect 500 million payment consumers and 100 million merchants not very far in future," says the Paytm CEO.

He says India has an opportunity to become a net exporter of payment technology, software and hardware. "...I expect Paytm to lead the way in this."

Sharma says the true dividend of the payment economy in India will be the "distribution of small credit at low cost", leveraging payment relationships with customers. He adds the company has created a 'successful template' in the last two years of distributing small digital loans using payment relationships with consumers and merchants. "By helping enable digital loan collection on app, we are now creating a small revolution for financial inclusion, where a loan of as small as a few hundred rupees can be disbursed and collected at a very minuscule cost."

Paytm in its annual report says the increased adoption of payment use cases has resulted in our monthly transacting users (MTU) growing 27% YoY to 9 crore during Q4 FY 2023. The full-year average for MTU was 8.2 crore, up 36% from 6.1 crore in FY 2022.

The GMV (gross merchandise value) has also seen significant growth of 55% YoY from ₹8.5 Lakh Cr in FY 2022 to ₹13.2 Lakh Cr in FY 2023. The lending business grew 163% on YoY basis as the company disbursed over 4 crore loans in FY 2023, while the value of loans grew 364% to ₹35,378 Cr in FY 2023, from ₹7,623 Cr in FY 2022.

Total revenue has grown from ₹2,802 Cr in FY 2021 to ₹7,990 Cr in FY 2023, growing at a CAGR of 69%, says Paytm. The payments revenue grew from ₹1,981 Cr in FY 2021 to ₹4,930 Cr in FY 2023, growing at a CAGR of 58%.

Paytm says FY 2023 was a strong year for the company. Driven by improvement in net payments margin and increased share of high margin financial services business, the company's contribution profit grew 160% to ₹3,900 Cr in FY 2023 from ₹1,498 Cr in FY 2022. The company says it achieved “operating profitability”, i.e., EBITDA before ESOP break even, in the second half of FY 2022-23, three quarters ahead of plan in the quarter ended December 2022.

The Paytm stock is trading 2.32% up at ₹857.30 on the BSE today.

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