How the Aspect of Gaining Trust in the Digital Payments Sector Helped this Start-up Bag $11.5 million
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The Indian start-up ecosystem is booming with fin tech. Lack of infrastructure and several other issues have not stopped start-ups from opening doors in the world of finance and at the same time, using the base of technology to counter-attack the worries of finance in the country.
While several digital payments start-ups in the market solve problems of the consumers, Innoviti aims to solve real-world payment acceptance problems of merchants. Recently it was in news for bagging INR 80 crore through debt funding.
Entrepreneur India chats with Rajeev Agrawal, CEO of Innoviti Payment Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
According to Agrawal, the challenges in the country are immense- infrastructure is not as developed; education levels and understanding are at a different stage and then there is a high set of hopes and aspirations people have in this country.
The aspiration to give birth to such an enterprise, according to him, stemmed from the desire to create good solutions for the Indian market and create a valuable business out of it.
“We started with the company in 2002. Over the first 7 years of the company, we were very focused on hardware business where we were developing a short range of systems for use as an accessory for laptops. We entered the payment space in 2008 and that segment is about 10 years old now,” he says.
Decoding the Platform
Innoviti is paving a path of its own wherein they are providing a software platform which helps enterprises and other corporate merchants to essentially manage their payments better. They are not in any race as when I asked Agrawal about combating competition in the fintech industry with the likes of Paytm and Phonepe, he clearly pointed out their venture is merchant oriented. “The consumer may want to pay through a Paytm or a Phonepe or use their credit/debit cards – we accept all payment methods. Essentially, we don’t face the consumer, we face the merchant.”
The issue of trust is an important factor when it comes to digital payments. The anxiety of the merchant is as important as the anxiety of the consumer, “From a merchant’s perspective, simply put, at a store level when a customer is coming to buy goods and make the payment, the last thing a merchant will want is their payment failing.” If the payment fails, it causes anxiety to the customer, it causes anxiety to the cashier and it can lead to disputes which erode your brand, feels Agrawal.
Building Trust and Reducing Anxiety
The foremost action that Innoviti is taking is that of reducing the anxiety associated with digital payments by constantly improving the reliability of the transaction.
This is just the first part of the story. “The second problem we are solving is that we are creating simplified designed interfaces so that the average cashier population in India can easily manage acceptance of digital payments.”
And the third predicament that they are solving is, he explains, “We are cloud enabling offline retail and getting them the same power that online retail has in terms of being able to reduce the cost of acquiring new customers and driving sales with existing customers.”
Plan of Action
The funding will help Innoviti at several levels. Agrawal says, “Primarily, there are three things: more terminals, infrastructure and building up of the team.” These are the three key areas where the funds will be utilized. He also says, “For us, there is a fair amount of investment we would like to make to infrastructure, specifically, which is in terms of terminals and our data center capacity.”
So the stage is set as far as Innoviti is concerned. With so much digitization happening, will India soon go all-out even in the payments sector? Agrawal replies in the negative, “No, unfortunately, I don't think that is going to happen, at least not in the near 2-3 decades.” And the needle of blame points towards infrastructure. No surprises.