ePayLater–Aspiring to Reach Consumers with Digital Credit Offering

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Uday Somayajula
Uday Somayajula, Co-Founder, ePayLater,

Aiming at the Credit card penetration in the country which is merely two percent, ePayLater is set to bring Digital Credit in the hands of most consumers and small businesses. It intends to make credit more accessible and convenient for the growing millennial population of India says Uday Somayajula, Co-Founder, ePayLater, in conversation with Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN).

Please brief us on your product – ePayLater? How have you performed over the last three years?

ePayLater offers the simplest possible checkout experience in existence today, providing customers with the ability to conclude a transaction with just a click of the mouse or a tap of the touchscreen. It is a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ solution through which customers can get access to an instant credit limit to make faster purchases, that too without having to pay at the same time. Once signed up, a customer can avail a credit limit of upto Rs 20,000. A 14-day interest-free period is provided from the date of purchase to settle the payment.

ePayLater is extremely easy to use. Once a credit limit is sanctioned against your account, you can start using ePayLater across our extensive partner merchant network. Add items to your cart, choose ePayLater amongst the payment options, enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number and that is it, the transaction is done!

What makes the use of ePayLater more convenient, quick and seamless for users is that they needn’t type in their bank account/card details or use other modes of payment during the check-out process. The transaction can be completed with just a tap. Further, the users can easily make the repayment at a later date through simple and minimal online steps.

In a nutshell, ePayLater’s benefits are threefold. First, it’s Buy Now, Pay Later functionality; second, the enabling of a single-tap checkout process; and third, its ability to safeguard consumer information from unnecessary dissemination.

Millennials are, in particular, keen adopters of our ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ functionality, because it offers them credit in real-time without any laborious paperwork. These customers often view ePayLater as a superior digital substitute for credit cards, thanks to the super-smooth checkout experience combined with exciting offers and rewards.

To cite a specific example, our service is creating a wave of excitement amongst IRCTC customers. With the launch of ePayLater’s services on IRCTC, train ticketing has become a cakewalk for customers. They can book train tickets in a jiffy and pay for it at a later date. This becomes a very compelling proposition, especially for Tatkal bookings.

ePayLater’s partner merchants span across a multitude of services, ensuring that the platform’s convenient UX is available at multiple points of sale. Our partner merchants include IRCTC, PVR, Box8, Croma, Travelyaari, eVoucher India, Ticketnew, Sports Uncle among many others.

ePayLater is India’s first UPI powered credit solution! You can also use ePayLater to transact on merchants that accept UPI. Currently, ePayLater UPI can be used on Amazon, Flipkart, Foodpanda, Jabong, Myntra, Swiggy and Uber.

Further, ePayLater also offers an intuitive and interactive AI-powered chatbot to transact for a host of services namely household bills, hotel bookings, prepaid recharge, mobile bills, bus bookings, event bookings and more.

How did this idea come to your mind to develop such software?

ePayLater, the brainchild of Akshat Saxena, Aurko Bhattacharya and I,  was founded in December 2015, while the concept ideation started a few months prior. We had been working in complementary sub-domains of BFSI and had a consensus on the potential a mass-market credit offering can unlock. We were amazed at the fact that despite the great strides being made by the economy and therefore retail consumption, the credit penetration remained abysmally low.

Even as we speak, we have only around 20 million credit card holders in a billion plus population, which in terms of percentage penetration is way lower compared to our western counterparts, and also China. And since credit drives consumption, our combined wisdom pointed us towards the massive multiplier effect we could create if we could crack the code of empowering potentially every fellow-citizen with a credit instrument. And that’s how ePayLater was born.

In order to actualise the same, we chose a path which was non-traditional yet congruent with trends – demographic and technology alike. We decided to build a purely digital credit offering, which would leverage the best of data science and engineering, and deliver an experience which is not just inclusive, but also superior.

We developed the capability to underwrite a customer using alternate data, in less than a second, thereby allowing us to be a true checkout credit method at points of sale, whether online or offline. Customers could get a credit limit in real-time, and use it to ‘Book/Buy Now and Pay Later’, irrespective of their geographical presence.

How about its use among Merchants? How has been the response? Also, brief us on your services for Small Businesses such as Short Term Loans?

In our B2C segment, we are live with over 3000 merchant portals. Our business volumes are witnessing ecstatic growth month on month, and majority partners experienced upto 80 percent growth in their customer retention with ePayLater.

ePaylater’s B2B business is focussing on small businesses and SMEs. Working capital assistance is provided to these businesses by leveraging data science to bring about social and financial inclusion. For this segment, partners are able to gain access to a working capital using ePayLater’s credit. They have an interest-free repayment period on this credit. For business customers using ePayLater, the repayment term is either 14 or 30 days. The service involves no hidden cost and the credit line extended is completely collateral free. This allows businesses to continue providing services to their customers and achieve higher sales through faster inventory churns.

How has been your experience on approaching different organisation such as Uber, Cashfree and many others?

Top growing organisations are intrigued by the concept and novelty of what we offer i.e. instant digital credit with 14 days to repay. Immediate business pumping levers of impulse buying, 10 times smoother transaction experience, and a near 100 percent success rate holds a lot of promise for all these businesses. Businesses for whom customer service is a priority, greatly value the customers’ convenience. We are able to add value there with the ease and speed of transacting!

For travel portals like IRCTC, Travelyaari etc. transaction success rate is of prime importance, which is where ePayLater plays an important value addition. Along with providing the end users with the benefit of easy credit availability at all times, we are also able to work closely with our merchants of varying sizes to give a significant push to repeat customers.

What are the challenges you face while integrating the application?

Our integration process is fairly simple and takes less than two days.

What are your plans for future – five years down the line?

We are working on a bunch of innovations that would help us further simplify the customer experience, besides making credit more inclusive. Alongside, having solved the first set of business challenges our merchant partners were facing, we are broadening the vistas and gearing up for other business metrics that could be achieved.

We are looking at business credit as a major thrust area, as there lays a huge unmet demand for easy credit. We believe solving the said problem would unlock the true business potential of micro-entrepreneurs across the country. Having experienced the green shoots of this welcome change already, we feel propelled to drive this with added focus and intensity.

Will you like to share any other information with our readers?

With respect to credit, India has a very small number of credit cards. Only a minuscule percentage of online transactions happen via credit cards. A lot of people who are actually worthy of buying on credit simply didn’t have a way until ePayLater arrived.

ePayLater is set to bring Digital Credit in the hands of most consumers and small businesses. With a credit card penetration of just two percent in the country, we have huge growth headroom. Our aim is to make credit more accessible and convenient for the growing millennial population of India.

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