At PayNearby, we believe that the banking process of yesteryears is up for an upgrade in partnership with banks. “Stability before scale” and “Automate or eliminate” have been two key pillars of our digital strategy from scale orientation says Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder & CEO, PayNearby, in conversation with Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN).
- Let’s together create “India’s Largest Hyperlocal FinTech Network”. Will you please elaborate this statement? What has been at the core of PayNearby?
Our thesis is based on the fact that the nearest bank branch is 10 kms away from an individual, a mutual fund advisor is about 5 kms away and an insurance agent is about three kms away. But a Retail shop is 100 metres near to anyone at any time. Our work is to bring all the financial services to everyone everywhere and anytime. We will essentially leverage the presence of Retailers nearby and accentuate their existence by adding an additional layer of service which is helping them earn more and offer digital financial services in line with Government mandate. The core of PayNearby is to accentuate the presence of Retailers by harnessing mutual USPs for the larger good.
- How has the organisation grown over the years?
With a team of 8 members forking from a small residence in Raheja Vihar, Andheri, Mumbai the company stands 511 members strong at its 30th month of incorporation. The services are live for the past 27 months and have on an average grown at 8 percent per month. From Rs 57 Crore of turnover in the first month, the Retail partners today service Rs 3,200 Crores of monthly throughput commanding about 36 percent of AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment Services) and 11 percent of Domestic Remittance services.
With a clear vision and compliant approach, the team is marching towards complete financial independence of Indians over the next five years. Our benchmark is “Creation” and we believe that growth will only be an outcome of our deliveries. The line of services being developed by the team will create new markets and help build an industry around the digital engagements of tomorrow.
- Will you please highlight on the enterprise services offered by your organisation?
Our belief is that the banking process of yesteryears is up for an upgrade in partnership with banks. The Correspondent Banking, Cash Management Services, Salary processing services etc. all are up for a digital upgrade. Our partner banks are looking at the age-old requirements in a new way and this will truly transform the experience of enterprise users, from being used to be served in a certain manner, to experience an altogether new way of business engagement and completeness in their banking needs.
- What strategy you have adopted to expand your retailers’ and distributors’ network across the country?
“Stability before scale” and “Automate or eliminate” have been two key pillars of our digital strategy from scale orientation. The work remains the same but methods are more rigorous and responsible from compliance orientation. Application of India Stack and regulatory enablement is done through various guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India and DFS have helped in expanding the reach of financial services to common man.
- What technological innovations are implemented within PayNearby?
After the visioning is done, technology is the greatest enabler in realising our vision of “HarDukaan Digital Pradhan”. We believe that in this digital age, Technology is a core skill/work of any organization and we have worked hard to develop a state of the art platform designed to integrate multiple services seamlessly and deliver them to the last mile. Key pillars driving our technology development program has been – Concurrency Management, Robustness, Security, Resiliency and Operational Efficiency.
We have used a mix of traditional tools and new age tools to handle structured and unstructured data. Our microservices based platform deployed on our private cloud gives us tremendous control over enhancements and the ability to speedily deploy new products and features without affecting the whole platform.
A deep understanding of business within the tech team has ensured that we develop technologies that solve acute business problems – our three-way digital triangulation based Agent KYC and onboarding module being a case in point. Mobile-first approach – six different apps for all categories of users – combined with our state-of-the-art cloud-based proprietary Analytics and AI Platform – enable us to reach out to more and more Indians in an efficient manner.
- How do you rate the current competition for you in India? What are the other challenges you face?
Competition is good in an open market economy. While it keeps us on toes, sometimes it teaches us new things and sometimes it serves as a feeder to us. The challenge is only in terms of speed of thought versus the existing enablements. In the digital age, the possibilities are immense and dangers are imminent. We feel blessed that the regulatory regime in India has taken cautious steps to promote digital at the required pace for the larger good of achieving near total financial inclusion.
It may take some more time but directionally we feel blessed. Some nuances on clarity would certainly help in keeping the industry viable for tomorrow. The inter-department, inter-ministry intents can work in greater tandem so as to keep the industry on a focused path. Goods ST and TDS matters that have arisen for the financial inclusion industry in recent times could be managed better.
- What are your plans for the future?
Our aim is “HarDukan Digital Pradhan”. We see a similarity in the state of digital evolution and banking gaps across South East Asian countries. We plan to meaningfully serve 400 million individuals in 9 countries by the seventh year of our operations.