This Fintech Startup Is Empowering Kirana Stores

The 2016 founded Paynearby is doing a monthly transaction of over INR 5500 crores, with around 15 lakh retail stores across 17,500 PIN codes

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During the pandemic one thing was conspicuous. Indians have well adapted to digital transactions and in near future don’t plan to return to cash transactions. The reason? Well for starters, it is convenient and fast and keeps a transaction history. Those who were not yet convinced were using digital payment mode regularly by the end of the last year, due to fear of contracting the fear by cash. 

Anand Kumar Bajaj, Co-founder Paynearby

Though the government is advocating the concept of Digital India, retail stores or kirana stores have a pivotal role to achieve the complete digitization of India. India retail is an $883 billion market that is mostly dominated by kirana stores. Though there are players in the space digitizing these hyperlocal grocery stores in various ways, Mumbai-based PayNearby is empowering retail shop owners to offer digital services to local communities, thereby boosting digital financial inclusion. 

What is PayNearby?

Founded by Anand Kumar Bajaj, Subhash Kumar, Yashwant Lodha & Rajesh Jha in 2016, PayNearby is a DIPP-certified FinTech startup that partners with neighborhood retail stores and enable them with the tools to provide assisted financial and digital commerce services to their local communities.

Anand Kumar Bajaj who is the chief executive officer and managing director of the firm wanted to create user-experience-based products that help Indian retailers to serve their customers better. Bajaj wanted to build a platform that can dole out financial and non-financial services in a matter of seconds, to millions of people by leveraging advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning and create simple and efficient micro experiences for retailers.

“PayNearby aims to empower local kirana stores to evolve into retail powerhouses by blending easy-to-use digital technology with last-mile connectivity. There is a dire need to equip local retailers with the skills to perform a digital transaction. With our technology, we are empowering these small and medium businesses to stay relevant and deflect the challenges that come with the evolving economy,” he added.

From opening a goal-based savings account to instant remittances or cash withdrawal points, PayNearby claims to have helped local retailers go beyond their organic business, and double up.

PayNearby’s Impact

The 2016 founded startup is doing a monthly transaction of over INR 5500 crores, with around 15 lakh retail stores across 17,500 pin codes that offer services such as cash withdrawal, cash deposits, money transfer, savings, insurance, travel, digital payments, access to government benefits, among others.

The startup is also intertwining technologies to add other services, such as saving, lending and insurance, along with providing enterprise solutions to e-commerce companies, OTT platforms, NBFCs and financial institutions to reach the last mile. 

“Today, from Muzaffarpur to Maldah, from Raichur to Rajnandgaon, and from the most backward districts of the county to Sela Pass in Tawang at 13, 700 feet, PayNearby has successfully enabled the availability of basic financial services to 15 crore citizens to become India’s largest branchless banking and digital payments network,” Bajaj explained.

As multiple startups have emerged to digitize various areas, Bajaj rightly said that staying competitive is both imperative and extremely challenging. 

As per him, the company’s sole focus is on customer value and enabling user-friendliness, dependability and flexibility while solving customer needs allows PayNearby to stay competitive and thrive. 

“The most important aspect is that we know how to leverage the data that is collected. Today, more data is being generated than ever before through processing billions of transactions per day, adding scale and efficiency to our business. We are transforming this big data into information, and information into intelligence to create intelligent solutions for both our retail partners and consumers,” he claimed.The startup also underlined its easy-consumable content that educates, engages, and empowers its users. 

When asked about the future, Bajaj said that PayNearby aspires to empower the retail community across Tier I, II and rural towns in India. 

“There is a large unexplored, underserviced market that needs to be brought up the curve by simplifying high-end technology for the bottom of the pyramid. We will continue to innovate every single day to ensure democratization of digital payments, so that form factor agnostic digital payment is available at every last mile store, and digital payments become as seamless as exchanging cash,” he said.

The startup has plans to foray into international markets such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and other South Asian markets for future expansion. 

Year of inception – April 2016

No. of employees - 750

GTV for FY 2020-21 – 54,000 crs

External funding – A small seed capital infused from the Roha Group, the Tibrewala family owned Billion Dollar conglomerate.

Major clients - Major partner banks + Enterprise business

a.       YES Bank

b.       State Bank of India

c.       RBL Bank

d.       ICICI Bank

e.       Karur Vyas Bank

f.        IndusInd Bank

g.       SBM Bank India

h.       Axis Bank

Enterprise

1.      L&T

2.      Bajaj Auto

3.      Bajaj Finserv

4.      IndiaFirst Life

5.      SBM Bank India

6.      Adani Capital

7.      + 50 more