19 March 2015
City-based Paynear Solutions Pvt Ltd was born when five employees of an online payment solutions, EBS, came together to start their entrepreneurial journey. EBS, or EBilling Solutions, was one of the first online payment gateways and was acquired by French payment giant, Ingenico.
“When EBS was acquired by Ingenico, we thought why not set up our own company, having gained decades of experience in the payment and merchant business,” said Anil Bharadwaj, chief commercial officer, Paynear Solutions.
Anil, Priti Shah, Ravi Kiran, Maulik Shah and Krishna Kishore pooled in all their savings, incorporated the company in 2013 and started developing the product. After spending a year on product R&D, Paynear introduced mPay, a mobile point of sale (POS) machine, especially designed for merchants and businesses of all sizes and verticals. This device allows merchants to accept credit or debit cards through their smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. It can be used at supermarkets, restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, bakeries, retail stores, medical shops, boutiques, salons, gyms and many other businesses and services.
“There are other PoS machines available in the market, but we tried to incorporate elements that will make it user-friendly for merchants,” said Anil.
For one, it allows card transactions in local language, something that no other existing device offers. It assumes significance as most of the Internet-based applications couldn’t succeed due to language issues and several businesses such as kirana stores, hair salons, vegetable vendors, etc. will stand to benefit.
Second, every time a purchase is made, merchants using the device will get information about that particular consumer’s purchasing pattern through a simple to- use app. “This intelligence is important as merchants will instantly know about previous purchases and, accordingly, can offer rewards and increase his loyal customer base,” he said.
As per RBI data released in November 2014, there are over 11 lakh PoS machines, 46 crore debit and 46 crore credit cards in India. However, the number of POS transactions is just about 12 crore per month, thus leaving a huge market potential for card transactions.
“There are over 2 crore small businesses, so the market is huge. Since launching the device in November last we have sold 2,000 units. In the next four years we hope to sell over one lakh devices,” he said.
The company is tying up with channel partners and distributors to penetrate the market, both in metro cities and rural areas. “We are also spending time educating the merchants to use PoS machines in order to gain more customers as the market is increasingly moving towards card transactions,” Anil said.
Currently, mPay is being used in cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Warangal, Tirupati and Chennai, and intends to have presence across 20 more cities in the six months. “The recent opening of 13 crore Jhan Dhan savings banking accounts will augment the use of card transactions and we hope to cash in on this,” explained Anil.