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After Coverfox acquisition talks reportedly failing, Paytm has now hired former CEO of online insurance provider, as Senior Vice President. Singh will join in on the business side of things at Paytm’s newly announced financial services business. Recently, Paytm also successfully acquired an insurance broking license, setting itself up to provide a slew of digital insurance services in the country.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) recently approved and provided an insurance broking license to Paytm Insurance Broking Private Limited (PIBPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of One 97 Communications Limited that was incorporated 6 months ago.

“We are excited to welcome Premanshu who brings a wide range of experience in traditional industries as well in the digital ecosystem. As we deepen our presence in various segments of financial services, we continue to expand our leadership team to focus on multiple opportunities and possibilities that our Paytm ecosystem offers,” Amit Nayyar, Paytm president, said in a prepared statement.

Paytm has been trying to enter India’s insurance sector for the last two years. In 2018, it set up two separate entities to acquire an insurer’s license for the general and life insurance categories. But, given the speed with which it has set up PIBPL, it appears that those applications may have been rejected by IRDAI. The firm plans to offer products across various categories, including auto, health, and life insurance, among others.

With this latest venture in the insurance market, Paytm will compete with the likes of Coverfox, PolicyBazaar, Turtlemint, and ET Money.

The move coincides with the company reporting a massive surge in digital payments lately, as more and more people start to work from home after the government issued guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“We have been witnessing 20 percent growth in digital payments as compared to the regular days. Since February, the number of users visiting the Paytm app and the number of sessions per user has also increased,” a Paytm spokesperson told IANS in a statement.

“There has been a massive surge in repeat transactions for various use-cases like fuel stations, utility payments among others. Offline payments have grown by 12 percent owing to more people preferring Paytm over cash,” the statement added.