Brokering Trust with Financial Innovation Looking to innovate and add more customers across geographies

By Deepa Vaidya

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Nityanand Sharma, co-founder and CEO, Simpl

Nityanand Sharma, co-founder and CEO, Simpl is trying to bridge the trust deficit between online buyers and merchants, given that nearly 70% of consumers use cash on delivery (CoD) for online commerce. On the implications for merchants, Sharma says "The high dependence on CoD leads to inefficiencies and high returns besides lower cart conversions and high cart abandonment."

"If you look at it, even today, CoD is the prevalent mode of payment as we move from metros to tier 3-4 towns, where it reaches a peak of 90%. While e-tailers have expanded to the hinterlands, people in the rural areas still opt for CoD showing a trust deficit and lack of flexible payment options. The Simpl platform empowers merchants to build a relationship of trust with their end-customers strengthened by the product offerings our platform provides (pay later; pay-in-3; BillBox) and by so doing, they enhance the CEX. Our mission is to make money simple, so that people can live well and do amazing things. We envision creating an inclusive digital payment experience for India that empowers and fosters trust between merchants and their customers, he adds."

To tackle this, "Simpl provides a full-stack solution to e-commerce conversion. It enables merchants to give their customers, 1-tap checkout, buyer protection, and a pay-later facility to allow them to feel safe and trusted when shopping online; consumers get a frictionless, seamless commerce experience and budget efficiently. With Simpl, merchants are able to provide consumers with an easy, safe, and intuitive user experience that builds a trusted relationship between the two," says Sharma.

They have also partnered with Sugar Box to facilitate payments across underserved and unserved geographies.

Commenting on the differentiation factors of Simpl, says Sharma, "Simpl is at the forefront of the digital payment revolution in India. Simpl has been built to serve diverse needs with varied use cases- merchants and customers alike.We have onboarded 15,000+ merchants as of date and have grown 10x in the past 18 months. And this momentum will only continue."

"Merchants love Simpl because we help move consumers away from CoD, increase transaction success rates to 99%+ (from 75%), and, on top of that, increase order frequency by 20%. This is possible since the checkout experience becomes more seamless and directly embedded in the merchant's infrastructure."

A highly sophisticated technology and a stringent evaluation process enables this easy and hassle-free experience. Explaining about their tech code,Sharma says, "AI and ML enable decisioning at the back-end with customer onboarding done from the data shared by the merchant partners, which is then subjected to a set of rigorous algorithms. If they satisfy our internal benchmarks, the company underwrites payments to the merchant/s concerned within seconds, and the buyer can close the purchase in 1-tap checkout."

Commenting on his experience of working in a sector that is highly regulated by the government, he says, "We believe Simpl furthers the digital inclusion agenda of the government. We are one of the pioneers in the Indian fintech space, and Simpl is committed to the simplification and democratisation of digital transformation in the payments space in India."

Sharma's plans for the future are to reduce the frictions as regards, user experience, trust and speed fronts. He says, "We will continue to focus on enhancing each of these elements in our product development roadmap. Simpl is in the next phase of growth, a very exciting time for all of us here as we innovate to build more products adding to the existing portfolio (Pay Later; Pay-in-3 and BillBox). We are doubling down on innovation and better underwriting models as we expand our merchant and consumer base. For this, we just announced two key executive-level hires on the technology front. We also have an aggressive hiring plan to build a strong team of engineers and data scientists besides scaling up the other verticals."

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