How Nandan Nilekani-Backed Startup Plans to Take on Digital Wallets via UPI Payments

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

While the country goes cash dry, the Paytms and MobiKwiks of the world are putting their best foot forward of to make the most out of the situation of demonetization.


Today, credit is a significant friction and an opportunity in Indian retail. Banks and NBFCs from the organized sector struggle to offer credit to small business on consumer loans in tier-2 and tier-3 towns because the recipients often do not have CIBIL scores, collateral or a rich transaction history with banks.

 Nandan Nilekani-backed startup ShopX today is in a unique position to address the credit situation because it effectively “digitizes relationships” that underwrites credit in the Indian economy.

 With this platform, retailers can continue to extend credit, but maintain a record on the ShopX’s wallet and app. Consumers can also download the consumer app and request or track credit.

In a chat with Entrepreneur Media, Co-founder and CEO Amit Sharma spoke about how he sees the era of demonetization as a golden opportunity for his company.

What’s different?

Amit claims that 85 percent of the economy in India remains unorganized even today and with his company he plans to lap up that category using technology. “We partner with different retailers across the country and what our platform does is it adds that personal layer of a person also a place  where a person can carry out digital transactions, it solves a host of problems which traditional ecommerce places,”

“Via this it helps solve those problems traditional ecommerce firms face, like location of payment, delivery locations – basically a touch and feel experience, trust and comfort,” Amit adds.

After a product-market fit discovery phase of 9 months, ShopX has signed up 30,000+ retailers within 4 months. The ShopX network covers 220+ tier-1, 2 and 3 towns across South and West India, and carries out 25,000+ transactions every day.

With the introduction of payment via Unified Payment Interface, the company is planning to target 5 Lakh retailers within the next 6 months using the ShopX Open Payment Service

Self –help category is just a tiny bit

Amit believes that there is just a minuscule of a population that falls in the self-help category, equipped with gadgets, digital wallets. The rest belong fall in the category who aren’t comfortable buying things online, using net-banking and would still prefer to go to the nearby market to buy their day-today needs.

The future is digital money. Leveraging our deep retailer presence and understanding, we are in the best position to introduce digital payments for the mass market in India. The ShopX Open Payment Service (SHOPS) will be an integrated solution for all kinds of digital payments- credit/debit cards, online banking, UPI and private wallets.

Why he believes someone would opt ShopX over Digital Wallets

According to Amit, storing money in a wallet is not necessarily what an Indian consumer wants to do. What he really wants is coming to store to buying things without having to store money on a digital wallet, but rather punch the amount and the retailer’s recipient number and the money should directly be debited from your bank account, he said.This solution does not require cards or net banking, just requires a UPI number!