Hey Paytm : We need to solve this..

This is first post to my series : Lets make products better

I am an avid user of Paytm and my family uses it a lot. To be honest Paytm is undoubtedly pretty awesome. It made my life easier and has umpteen features which actually work well. For eg, The ability to pay for Electricity bills, Landline bills, Booking flights and all work great.

Moreover, I am impressed by the way they build this Cashback ecosystem rather than discounts which, cajoles users to come back and use the platform more and more.

Still, with all the security they offer, I can possibly commit one fraud no matter how small it is and I seriously want Paytm to pay attention to it so that there is no scope left for it in near future..

Paytm allows its user to pay for Petrol Pumps and Shops. Apparently, It works at Petrol pumps by asking a Petrol Pump worker to fill my vehicle’s tank. They have a Paytm QR code, I scan it. Enter the amount, pay in front of him and then Paytm app shows “Payment Successful”. The Petrol pump worker takes a note of the transaction Id and ask for my phone number and then I leave.

This is where I have the issue Paytm “The Petrol pump worker takes a note of the transaction Id and asks for my phone number.”

First: I don’t want to share my phone number but then I am bound to which is directly violating my rudimentary right to privacy. Giving my phone number can have innumerable repercussions like they can disturb me, use it for telemarketing etc.

Second: As a dev, I can make an exact clone of Paytm app to fake a payment process. No one will be able to guess that I am doing a fraud.

Its not like Paytm does not have a solution. They do have a solution. How Paytm solves the problem right now:

Paytm sends a message to the registered number that the payment is received. They also allow a seller to have a secondary number.

Alas, both fail in the scenario of Petrol Pumps because firstly, we have 10’s of workers and checking each transaction is a really difficult task, considering the fact, petrol pumps in India are hell busy. Moreover, neither the seller can reckon his every worker to have access to the main Paytm account nor wants the worker to know the details of the account as to how much money the account holds etc.

Secondly, message system can fail in the case where I can get the number of the Paytm account and send him a fake message using some service which is exactly similar to the message that Paytm sends once you transfer the amount.

What can be the right way to do things?

Expensive (but won’t take the company in the red): Set up a screen at the petrol pump which shows recent payments. Still, a lot of users won’t be comfortable with their names getting displayed, therefore we can use an ATM-like screen which shows a notification that payment successful and then goes away and can probably also print a receipt.

but shall we do this? I guess No.

According to me, there can be a better solution. Paytm already has a kickass QR scanner and is already running advertisements about how good it is. Paytm can create a QR code for every transaction one do and the guy at the Petrol Pump or any store can scan the receipt and see the details typically the way e-tickets work at movie halls these days.

This makes Paytm more secure and removes the chances of fraud and personal data theft which can be done from petrol pumps. Honestly, I don’t want to give my number every time I go to a petrol pump.

Here goes, a small note about me: I am Aviral, Student at Department of Computer Science. This is the first post in the series I am currently writing on Products and what features they can add or remove. I am more of an Innovator, who looks at a product and tries to find features by observing. There is Behance etc for designers and GitHub for developers to showcase their work. I am trying this series to check if my method of scrutinizing a product and its end to end features makes sense or not. If you like it do clap for me

This is what I perceived there can be chances where Paytm has a system which petrol pumps are not applying, I guess we need Paytm’s support there.

Also Paytm is very close to me that’s why I picked it for my first post. I was also there at the Build for India hackathon and was awarded a 2nd price (Team Marvel) ❤️

Clap for it, if you find the feature apt. Do share your views in the comments and I am in my final semester and would love to work as a product developer or as an iOS Developer in case you have a job 😊

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