Paytm Review: The Rewarding Way to Pay Your Bills

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Paytm is one of the world’s largest digital wallet platforms and it came to Canada via the Android/iOS app called “Paytm Canada” in March of 2017.  (Unless you live in Quebec – sorry La Belle Province.)  

If you’re wondering what the heck a digital wallet is, the basic idea is that you can pay the vast majority of your bills with this app after investing a little time to set up your billers.  With over 5,000 billers now part of the app, you can make common everyday payments such as taxes, insurance, rent, hydro, tuition, and more – on your phone – and get paid to do it!

Paytm Review: 5% Cash Back

Much like you can strategically use credit cards to pay for things and get credit card rewards points for free (as long as you make your monthly payments), Paytm is going to pay you 5% cash back (on popular brands) just for paying for stuff that you would have paid for anyway.  Just to be upfront, this 5% back won’t come to you in the form of cold hard cash or cheque, but instead as gift cards to major retailers such as Tim Hortons, Amazon.ca, Best Buy, Esso, Indigo and Just Eat.  Honestly, at this point, due to my obsession with Amazon Prime, Jeff Bezos essentially runs my life anyway, so “Amazon dollars” is just as good as any other currency to me.

Tracking Your Bills in One Place

Paying bills sucks.  It’s boring.  It takes money out of your wallet that you’d rather be spending somewhere else.  But it might suck a little less if you had all your bills in one place, could pay them relatively easily, and then got paid to do so.  Paytm lets you quickly see all of your bill payments on one screen.  It also ups the convenience ante by allowing you to set due dates, and even pre-set a preferred payment method for each bill.  

If you’re still new to this personal finance thing, you can start by taking a look around our site – but in the meantime, if bills have piled up on you, the Paytm app will send notifications your way starting 10 days before the bill is due so that you can avoid those pesky late fees.

It’s also pretty quick and easy to add new bills (see screenshots below) with fairly decent instructions online – although, not every bill provider has yet signed on to the app, they are doing so at a fast rate.

 

Paytm Review: No Convenience or Transaction Fees

Paytm states that unlike other digital wallet platforms:

“We never charge a fee on your bill payments. In fact, we frequently run promotions to help you save.”

There is no percentage fee or flat transaction-based fee charged.  

I know this sounds suspicious – but there is no plainer way to say it: Paytm does not charge app users any fees – it’s literally $0!

I have no idea if this will last forever. I’m not even sure how the company makes money.  I suspect the meta-data Paytm collects is very valuable.  In India, the company makes significant profits through its marketplace program, and also makes money from companies such as Netflix if you sign up pre-authorize monthly payment through Paytm.  Some large companies such as major post-secondary education institutions will also send a small percentage commission Paytm’s way if you make large payments through them.  My educated guess is that Paytm is rapidly trying to gain critical mass in Canada so that it can leverage itself to gain more commission from companies (much like credit cards do).  Once enough users have jumped on, it appears that Paytm could also one day approach users on trying out their evolving banking services.

All I know, is that at the end of the day, at the time of writing this Paytm review, it is completely free to use, and that they are likely using their size to get beneficial deals from retailers on those gift cards.  As long as the Amazon.ca gift cards keep flowing my way – and I pay $0 fees – I’m not going to ask too many questions.

How to Pay Bills Through Paytm

To send money to pay bills through the app, you simply hook up a credit card or your bank account and then “hit send”.  If you pay through your credit card, you can obviously snag the benefits that accrue as part of your credit card benefits package, but if you simply pay through your bank account, you are eligible for those sweet gift card offers we identified above.

If there are ever any problems with the App, Paytm Canada hooks you up with actual people (not automated robots trying to sounds like people) named Adam, Aravind, Preeti and Sophie, and they’ll answer your questions through Facebook Messenger or emails.

Several Canadians have asked us about security and from everything that I’ve read, Paytm sounds safe.  Please read their safety-related FAQ here, and you can decide for yourself just how safe the app is to use.

Background of Paytm

Paytm is a large company that started in India in 2010 and is short for the phrase “payment through mobile”.  It employs over 13,000 people and is quickly diversifying its product offering.  Paytm has created over 150 million mobile wallets as of November 2016.  If you’re wondering if this new entrant into the Canadian market is “legit” and if they will be around for a while, it might help to know that their largest shareholder is tech giant Alibaba (think the Chinese Amazon + the Chinese Ebay, all rolled into one).  

One interesting tidbit I found when using my black belt in GoogleFu was that in June, 2017 The Economic Times reported that Paytm was seeking a license to create a money market fund.  They speculated that this was done in order to allow Paytm wallet users to earn interest on cash stored within the App.  

Paytm has had a presence in Toronto since 2014, and Mayor John Tory has been cited in several news articles praising the company, as well several Paytm reviews.

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Kyle is a high school humanities teacher by day, and freelance personal finance author by night. He has been published in academic journals, and has also co-authored the book "More Money for Beer and Textbooks". In his free time Kyle likes to limp up and down a basketball court and pretend to be a tough guy in a boxing ring.

8 Comments

  1. Andy on November 26, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    You said “If you pay through your credit card, you can obviously snag the benefits that accrue as part of your credit card benefits package, but if you simply pay through your bank account, you are eligible for those sweet gift card offers we identified above.”

    Does that mean if you use your credit card through the app you don’t get the “sweet gift card offers” you mentioned?



  2. Ivan on November 27, 2017 at 9:52 am

    This seems interesting for sure. Thanks for posting about it. So just to clarify, do you get 5% cash back, or whatever %, on the value of the bills you pay through the app or on the value of buy gift cards you buy through their app, or both? Thanks



  3. Kyle on November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

    From everything I’ve read Ivan, it’s 5% back on the value of the bills that you pay through the app. The 5% isn’t “cash back” exactly, it’s gift cards from Amazon etc.



  4. Kyle on November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Correct Andy.



  5. S. Lacaille on February 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Why isn’t it available for Québec?



  6. Kyle on March 10, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Hello S,

    Quebec is always its own ball of wax in Canada. They have different regulations than everyone else, so companies either take longer to get there, or it’s not worth the regulating costs involved.



  7. Zein on April 24, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Hey Kyle, this is Zein from Paytm’s CS team. Just want to say thanks for sharing your review and insights, I’m glad to hear you had such an awesome experience with us (just to confirm, Paytm indeed remains a free service!). If anyone has more feedback, questions or needs any help setting up their account, please email us at care@paytm.com. We are always excited to hear and learn from our users!

    Zein



  8. Leo on November 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you for the detailed review. I think I’ll download it and give it a try.



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