ePaisa is making it simple for retailers, restaurants and other offline businesses to accept any wallet, easily through the ePaisa app, says Siddharth Arora, CEO, ePaisa in an interaction with Elets News Network (ENN)
In a recent move, ePaisa has tied up with online wallet providers- Paytm, Citrus, and Mobikwik. What was the idea behind this move by the brand?
Our belief is that if you want to digitise India, you have to digitise the point of sale. We are very bullish on the use case for wallets. They have grown fast – there are about 140-150 million mobile wallet users in India (compared to the 20 million credit cards in the entire country) but they are mostly used online for money transfer or recharges. There is no ubiquity yet, and only when there is real acceptance in brick and mortar stores will they replace the use of cash. ePaisa is making it simple for retailers, restaurants and other offline businesses to accept any wallet, easily through the ePaisa app.
Businesses can expect their sales to shoot up with traffic driven from the wallets. There is less friction with mobile wallet payments, where no money exchanges hands. That means better security for brick-and-mortar stores, as they don’t have to hold cash on-site and it also gives consumers a better experience at checkout.
ePaisa has tied up with over 150 telcos to facilitate global mobile recharge recently. How has the tie up proved to be and how has it enabled ePaisa to gain momentum in the market?
This is a value-added service, which allows our merchants to earn more revenue. Instead of logging online to recharge their international numbers, tourists or customers can simply walk into any ePaisa merchant store and recharge their numbers for the required amount. The merchants get a commission of up to 8 percent from service providers to provide this service to his/her customers. The tie-up has proved to be a productive way for the merchants to sustain in this highly competitive market, increase their foot traffic and revenue. This move has enabled ePaisa reach out to more small business owners in cities with high international tourism. Merchants, especially in Agra, Cochin, Khajuraho and Hampi love this offering.
What are your plans for tying up with cooperative banks?
Cooperative Banks in India are going for core banking solutions and are often faced with multi-channel integration issues. T o improve customer services, they have to integrate for every module or interface and add-on features and these additional costs are a huge challenge to these cost constraint banks.
With the help of ePaisa, this can be done especially for common channels such as POS and VAS. The banks can start their own POS acquiring and integrate it seamlessly. They can offer POS Terminals, and allow payments acceptance through cards with the help of a card reader, retaining their current account holders, who would otherwise move to other banks offering them this solution. They can set up and operate merchant acquiring business through POS on a revenue sharing model, decide their own MDR and charge their merchants on every swipe while reducing their costs. ePaisa is PCI-DSS certified and can handle the entire life cycle of onboarding to fraud management for banks.
ePaisa’s VAS services are also being used by banks to enable mobile wallet, DTH recharge, bill payments, ticket booking and gift voucher issuance at ATM. Banks like New India Coop Bank in Mumbai are successfully using our entire solution offering.
Could you share with us any new products that have been introduced by your brand in the year 2014-15?
The latest launch we have been our universal wallet acceptance platform. We have launched the service with India’s three largest mobile wallets i.e Paytm, Mobikwik and Citrus, enabling mobile wallet payments in brick and mortar stores. With this, ePaisa™ will power its merchants, all over India, to accept payments from 150 million mobile wallet users, in-store or remotely without going through cumbersome individual integrations with each company and get the funds into their bank account the next business day. If you want to purchase something for ` 1000, you can even split the payment between your cash, card and multiple wallets balances. We are adding all wallets into ePaisa over the next few months.
Earlier in the month of August, we also introduced Bitcoin as a mode of payment at an ePaisa enabled store. With this, they can accept payments from more than 30,000 Bitcoin users in India.
The digital currency which is created and held electronically enables customers to directly pay the merchants just like cash. There is no need to provide any payment information, thereby making this cryptocurrency more and more popular in India.
What new technologies have been introduced in the payments and financial domain in the industry in recent times? How updated is ePaisa in accordance to the same?
ePaisa has been at the forefront of payments. We removed the payments at checkout from the process and allowed the customers to make mobile purchases from its aisles using the card reader.
Tap and Pay based on NFC cards will be seen more and more in the coming few months. ePaisa already is future ready with an NFC certified mobile card reader and we will launch it as soon as there is enough traction in the market.
Apart from payments, we also provide a complete commerce solution encompassing inventory management, analytics & reporting and marketing tools to help businesses grow.
Innovations like this show that mobile payments are improving a global payment ecosystem that’s long been due for an upgrade.
To what extent technologies helped your brand to build a strong relationship with customers and ensure customer loyalty? How ideal an option is mobility in this perspective?
ePaisa is a fintech company. Our DNA is technology.
We are using technology as an enabler to communicate with our prospective and current customers. Customers chat with us online and get real-time in-app support, talking to a real person right from within the ePaisa app.
We are providing areas on our website, where customers can answer their own questions or seek answers from others. We are using email and WhatsApp as a medium to improve customer service and quickly respond to their needs. Unified communications and data-gathering tools such as customer relationship management software help us maintain customer relations.
All our tools work from anywhere and without the need for customers to call us. Handling a merchant’s billing, inventory and payments needs is a serious business that requires immediate answers. And customers love us for always being available to help them instantly.
How do you leverage social media and analytics in offering customer satisfaction?
We have embraced social media and analytics to better assess how our brand resonates in the marketplace and to determine how to target the right customer. We also monitor and respond to brand conversations on our social media thereby delivering a unified brand experience across platforms. We not only leverage social media for ourselves but also extend our understanding to our merchants as well, helping them listen to their customers and be more activ e on their own social media platforms.
To what extent do you think personalisation technologies can help create a better perception about financial services and products among the customers?
We have a robust and active merchant community that uses our services and is hungry to grow and offer more and more features that ePaisa provides them.
What are your targets and plans of expansion?
ePaisa is all about big data from small merchants. This defines our expansion plans. We want to reach out to every small and medium enterprise in India (45 million of them) and enable them to digitise their point of sale, accept payments and communicate with their suppliers and customers better. That’s why ePaisa is multi-lingual and cloud based. We are in growth phase now and our first milestone will be reaching 25,000 businesses.