Managing The Payments' Needs of Businesses
Sinha looking at organic and inorganic growth besides international foray
Speaking about Cashfree Payments' and their offerings, Akash Sinha, co-founder and CEO, Cashfree Payments says, "Cashfree Payments is a leading payment and API banking solutions company, providing full-stack payments solutions, enabling businesses in India to collect payments and make payouts via all available methods with simple integration. Our offerings include an advanced and easy way to integrate payment gateways, a split payment solution for marketplaces, bank account verification API, and Auto Collect, a virtual account solution to match inbound payments to customers."
"We started our business operations in 2015 with bulk payouts. It enables businesses to add multiple Payout Fund Sources and pay their vendors, partners, employees, or customers into the destination payment mode of their choice. We also built our 'Verification' suite that facilitates KYC for customers, employees and vendors by verifying their PAN, Aadhar, bank account numbers, and GSTINs."
"Further, with our softPOS solutions, we take pride in saying that we have changed the way the world looks at in-store and last-mile payments, enabling businesses to delight customers with 120-plus payment modes in brick-and-mortar settings as well as at customers' doorsteps."
"Our recently launched Tokenization solution, 'Token Vault', is well aligned with the RBI's intention of making card payments more secure, as we tokenised cards for our merchants across all major card networks in India, in the past one year."
"Also, our cross-border payments solution enables investing platforms to allow their users to buy foreign stock via local payment methods like UPI. We were one of the few players that were a part of the second cohort of RBI's Regulatory Sandbox where we had the opportunity to demonstrate the agility and robustness of our offerings."
"Our Banking-as-a-Service platform 'Accounts' is a tailor-made solution for neobanks, fintech, and other account-issuing platforms to help their users create and manage their banking transactions digitally."
"At Cashfree Payments, we place our customers at the centre and continuously work towards creating innovative solutions to ease their challenges. Currently, we are working towards introducing novel features on our platforms which will further aid businesses and users save a great deal of time by digitising the entire banking services and providing a complete banking ecosystem from within their product," he adds.
Speaking about the impact their solutions have made so far, Sinha says, "At Cashfree Payments, we have worked towards reimagining how the payments businesses in India are built. Instead of following the mainstream approach of a single-product tool, we were the first to introduce the concept of a payments platform in a fast growing online market and hosted multiple payment products on a platform which could work independent of each other.".
"We enable more than 1,50,000 businesses with payment collections, vendor payouts, wage payouts, bulk refunds, expense reimbursements, loyalty and rewards. Apart from India, our products are used in eight other countries including the USA, Canada, and UAE. Annually, we are processing USD 40 billion in transaction amounts, serving over 200 million bank accounts, and powering payments for more than 1,50,000 businesses."
"Our payments systems have shown remarkable robustness and reliability. We process 20 million API requests every day, with 99.99% average system uptime. We have achieved high success rates with direct integrations with banks, card networks and third party payment players along with in-house dynamic routing algorithms".
With so many product offerings and as a tech leader, to stay ahead and relevant in a constantly changing marketplace, at Cashfree, "Our merchant partners and customers are at the core of everything that we do. We are in constant touch with our merchant partners and other stakeholders to understand pain points and design solutions to overcome these challenges. As an organisation, we value traits like consistent innovation and a problem-solving approach. Faster technological advancements have helped us to operate effectively in the payments space. We have laid a special emphasis on understanding the changing needs of the businesses. This has in turn, enabled us to design personalised solutions. Further, we also pay attention to continually reviewing our offerings and operations, to ensure that it is still within reasonable distance from the cutting edge, while serving our business needs. We have also ensured an appropriate degree of simplicity in our tech architecture. The standardisation of the software code and integration standards enable applications and systems to interact fully. Effective APIs can help organisations develop interoperable components to interact seamlessly and share data/technology across the length and breadth of the organisation through a common platform. With simplicity, it is also crucial for organisations to have agility in our operations. This has helped us to expand our product portfolio."
Also pertinent is the issue of profitability in the fintech space. Says Sinha, "The core competency of fintech companies is technological prowess. We are consciously developing services that solve our customers' problems, ease their efforts, and put them at the centre of their business strategy by leveraging technology. The top 3 ways for a fintech to achieve maximum profitability:
- Having the competitive edge: A fintech firm needs to be goal-driven, customer-centric, and tech-savvy, giving it the competitive edge over the other existing players in the market. The key to success is that product offerings to those customer segments are usually not entertained by the traditional players
- Continuous expansion of products and services: Fintechs introduced a single focused product or service in the market have added many more services and products as a part of their business growth strategy. Cashfree Payments also started as a single-product fintech company and expanded to offer multiple products or service lines later. The innovations that fintech brings should ease customer efforts, such as easy payments, visit-less onboarding, and cashless purchases.
- Making the complex simple: At Cashfree Payments, we process massive amounts of transaction data every minute. As our products pick up speed in the market, our volumes also increase in scale massively. We look to develop solutions that are agile, fast and flexible so that we can deliver products that are user friendly, seamless and secure. That's why we use low-code and no-code tools to get the job done."
"A fintech firm should efficiently use the API infrastructure to leverage product expansion through partnerships and collaborations. The focus should also be on providing automated and integrated services that allow its customers to put in the minimal effort with minimal costs," adds Sinha.
Over the next two years, "At Cashfree Payments, we are looking at organic and inorganic growth avenues. We have been fixing gaps in the industry with our industry first products, we intend to continue growing by launching innovative products in the future as well. Expanding our product offerings in international markets is one of our focussed growth areas. Last year we invested in Telr, a leading payment service provider in UAE and Saudi Arabia. This has allowed Cashfree Payments' merchants to accept payments from customers in the MENA region, and we are looking to develop a unified cross-border payments platform with Telr. We are further looking to acquire 2-3 more start-ups while continuing our bid to onboard marquee customers. We are gearing up for global expansion, and plan to reach 15-18 countries over the next two years."
"Our distinctive cross border service, Global Payouts, is also in line with our increasing focus on the international market. Global Payouts was built to respond to skyrocketing cross-border e-commerce sales due to an increased demand for foreign goods and a rising middle class, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. It has connected companies across the globe with both businesses and individuals operating out of India".
"In the coming times, we will see an increasing role of APIs and BaaS-based solutions that will further provide convenience to customers across sectors. With the rise of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, APIs/SDKs, low code/no code platforms etc. applications that had to be developed earlier from the ground up can be assembled together much more easily now. However, the need for these domains are still there and growing every day. We will also work on this area to develop it further. Our focus continues towards devising powerful solutions to enhance technological capabilities of organisations and empower them to provide top-notch customer experience."