One of the topics of discussion was “Future Innovations in Payment Gateways & Enabler for Businesses” the moderator for the segment was Mr. Prasar Sharma, who is the Strategic Initiatives Lead of BW Businessworld.

Day 2 of the Fintech Conclave organized by BW Business World was a huge success there were several panel discussion on various interesting topics where we all got to know a lot about various aspects of the fintech sector.

One of the topics of discussion was “Future Innovations in Payment Gateways & Enabler for Businesses” the moderator for the segment was Mr. Prasar Sharma, who is the Strategic Initiatives Lead of BW Businessworld. There were three panellist present firstly there was Ms. Saloni Malhotra, who is the Vice president of Paytm, there was Mr. Anand Kumar Bajaj, who is the founder and CEO and Managing Director of PayNearby and there was also Mr. Shailesh Paul, who is the Head of Merchant Sales and Solution in India and South Asia, of VISA. All the three panellists spoke to us about the happenings in their own domains and also took us through all the innovations which have been happening in the fintech ecosystem.

All the three panellists said that their companies have been working to make sure that their service reaches to every consumer and the merchants as well. They have been coming up with innovations and features to make the consumers life easier and at the same time connect as many merchants as possible even from the most remote corner of the country.

Mr. Anand Kumar Bajaj pointed out that “We have enough banks but not enough banking. The banking system in India is hugely unevenly distributed. The ATM machines are clustered in the urban areas and are lacking in the rural areas, and number of debit cards have been taken away from the users for some kind of technical default and as a result they are at present not being able to carry on their transactions”, he added.

Ms Saloni Malhotra, the vice president of Paytm, agreed with the point previously made by Mr. Anand, that India has enough banks but not enough banking system. She said that “we see merchants in small towns using our service in way that we never imagined they would. Earlier there were merchants who were using offline transactions, but Covid has pushed us all to go online, and hence are services are also being used.” She also mentioned that “last year a host of categories like the doctors and the education board who were earlier hesitant to use online transaction are coming on board and working with us.”In terms of innovation she mentioned that Paytm has always tried to be innovative, as they were the first ones to bring in the QR code, and they did it pre demonitization and with the onset of demonitization it just accelerated the whole process.

Mr. Shalish Paul said that “India has been in the payment business for some time now, but the consumers and merchants in India have taken time to adopt to the digital payment method as compared to the rest of the world.”Hence, if we look at the numbers the number of people using the digital transaction it will be a lot less even though at present we have credentials of 900 million. Demonitization and the pandemic has increased the reach of the digital e-commerce and the players in the ecosystem helps to make sure that the system keeps running efficiently with any problem. But presently the major changes that has been happening is that now the digital payment is a convenience to the consumer, it is more convenient, there is no hassle and at times even more economic, and all these service providers have come together to enable the consumer experience and make them realize that these platforms are safe. Then the foundation is built and it starts growing. The sector is expected to grow massively in the coming 3-4 years, and our main objectives are to enhance consumer experience, and also to provide opportunity for all the stakeholders to grow their business, and if we are able to see up with it then the job is being done.

When asked about the behavioural changes Paytm has seen over the last few years and as it has become a recognised brand with a lot of competitors coming in the market, Ms Saloni Malhotra shares some of her insights and takes us through the journey Paytm has been through.

She said that what primarily people recall when they hear Paytm is the app and the wallet, but paytm today has become much more than that, it is a payment gateway used by both consumers and stakeholders and at different circumstances. She mentioned how different sectors have different needs like the solutions e-commerce needs is much different than what the food provider needs but paytm through their insights which they have been receiving from different consumers and merchants are able to cater to each of these sectors, in short they have been able to brak their products and make one for everyone’s need and that is what the industry today is turning towards, the more adaptation happens the more you are able to grow. Today, paytm has reached to almost every merchant no matter how small or how remotely they are places. However, as more and more people are now using the platform due to the pandemic, they have to provide more security to the consumers as well as to the stakeholders, and that is what needs to be done.

As Mr. Anand is working as a bridge between the consumer and the stakeholders, hence he shared his insights on what are the emerging trends which he is seeing while working with their direct consumers and at the end by their end consumers. He compliments the railroad laid by VISA and paytm, when bank was in our pocket with the VISA cards and then with the paytm. He then said that what PayNearby does is provide a network for the consumers, for instance if one is collecting EMIs then they can ay through these platform where the cash collecting guys cannot reach, a swiggy delivery person guy can drop his cash at this platform as well. He spoke about how change has been taking place in payment as there was cash first then we shifted to cards and now we are see a cashless and card-less transaction system which is becoming more viable day by day. Hence, as Mr. Bajaj stated that enough innovations are happening in the sector and in the near future a lot more is about to happen, and he also mentioned that how the high-tech technology is being served in a simple manner to the people today and building path for more innovation in the future.

He also spoke about how many people do shift their loyalty from one app to another in order to seek the most value of the offers available in the form of discount or other benefits, but 92 percent of people actually value and are loyal to a single platform and also want the service provider to survive and not burn out in the process.

Mr. Shailesh spoke about the three big things that must happen and should be happening in the next decade in India are firstly, there should be a digital payment ecosystem for small merchants especially after the pandemic the small merchants were the worst affected ones hence, this should be done with easy costless solutions and partnerships to cater to their needs. Second thing should be to scale e-commerce, at present there are lots of challenges which the e-commerce face today and most of it is related to scale, there may be a payment failure, the speed of the transactions are not ideal and security still remains a matter of concern, hence all these need to improve as our economy shifts online. The third thing is more about user experience which has to change with time it has to become face o face. Just making sure the overall experience of customer is better and then they will definitely adopt to it and finally we have to make all these sustainable and make the platform open to more players.

The last question in the discussion was about crypto currency where a basic response seem to have come from all the panellist where they all agreed to the fact that it is something far beyond us, and the bridge shall be crossed when we come to it, as there are at present a lot of other challenges which needs to be taken care of in priority before we reach there, as Mr. Shailesh assured that once we reach there we will be enabling the technology for the consumers.


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