❖ Pay­ment com­pa­nies

Wal­let and pay­ment com­pa­nies are en­er­giz­ing their cam­paigns to se­cure their mar­ket shares:

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In­dia had been a coun­try where over 90% of the trans­ac­tions were cash-based. Only 5% of per­sonal con­sump­tion ex­pen­di­ture took place dig­i­tally. The de­mon­e­ti­za­tion ini­tia­tive has set a new phe­nom­e­non in the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial his­tory and led to cash­less trans­ac­tions. There has been sharp rise in dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions us­ing debit/credit cards, mo­bile bank­ing, Aad­haar En­abled Pay­ment Sys­tem and Uni­fied Pay­ment In­ter­face.


Adop­tion of mo­bile wal­lets as a medium of fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion re­sulted by com­pul­sion of cir­cum­stances. The size of the wal­let in­dus­try is more than $20 bil­lion in In­dia. After de­mon­e­ti­za­tion, con­di­tions have im­proved, but most of the cus­tomers in In­dia pre­fer cash on de­liv­ery op­tion for mak­ing pay­ments for online shop­ping.

Harshil Mathur, CEO & co­founder, Ra­zor­pay, says: “We aim to de­moc­ra­tize pay­ments across In­dia. So, busi­nesses from any­where in In­dia can col­lect pay­ments and truly have a global reach. For online re­tail­ers, we pro­vide a pow­er­ful plat­form for col­lec­tion and con­trol over their pay­ments in­fra­struc­ture. With off­line com­pa­nies, there are var­i­ous smart off­line to online so­lu­tions we of­fer like ECOD and EPOS to help them to go cash­less.”

Apart from start-ups and e-com­merce, Ra­zor­pay is see­ing a lot of thrust com­ing from the OTA (travel agents) and avi­a­tion seg­ment. This year, it is also ex­plor­ing part­ner­ing with new ver­ti­cals such as ed­u­ca­tion, gov­ern­ment and lo­gis­tics. “We ex­pect a 10x growth this year in terms of vol­ume with the num­ber of mer­chants also dou­bling. We will ex­pand into newer ver­ti­cals like gov­ern­ment and ed­u­ca­tion. The com­pany will run lean setup with a lot of fo­cus on au­toma­tion of in­ter­nal pro­cesses which will help us to­wards our goal of sus­tain­abil­ity,” says Mathur.


Ra­zor­pay fo­cuses on met­ros and other tier 1 cities. It has found large scale adop­tion in these cities. It has also found lot of in­ter­est gen­er­at­ing from tier 2 & 3 cities, in line with the vi­sion of dig­i­tal In­dia. The com­pany ex­pects a large con­tri­bu­tion from them to­wards its next phase of growth along with the con­sis­tent in­crease from tier 1 ge­ogra­phies.

Mathur also has plans for in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion: “South East Asia and Mid­dle East will be our next mar­kets be­cause our tech­nol­ogy is di­rectly scal­able to these mar­kets. We have cho­sen these re­gions as the prob­lems there are very like In­dia’s. In some of the over­seas ge­ogra­phies, we will go in­de­pen­dently while in oth­ers we will look at en­try through strate­gic part­ner­ships. But, we are not shift­ing our fo­cus away from In­dia, as de­mon­e­ti­za­tion has opened a huge op­por­tu­nity. In­dia will be a key and pri­mary mar­ket for us.”

Sunil Kulka­rni, Joint MD, Ox­i­gen Ser­vices, says Ox­i­gen wal­lets re­ceive a ma­jor chunk of busi­ness from states like UP, Or­risa, Ra­jasthan and Bi­har. The com­pany is plan­ning to in­tro­duce 50,000 mi­cro ATM’S across In­dia. These mi­cro ATM will be one-stop so­lu­tion for all pay­ments trans­ac­tions.

Harshil Mathur has vi­sion to democra­tise pay­ments across In­dia


There has been po­ten­tial rise in the dig­i­tal pay­ments in the ru­ral ar­eas. The wal­let com­pa­nies have spe­cial strate­gies to tar­get the ru­ral mar­ket. This mar­ket has been key for Ox­i­gen. The com­pany or­ga­nizes health camps, women em­ploy­ment, pro­mote hy­giene fac­tors like use of san­i­tary pads by women. It has ap­pointed Sachin Ten­dulkar as its brand am­bas­sador to cre­ate trust among the cus­tomers.

Me­her Sarid, group pres­i­dent, Cor­po­rate Af­fairs - HR, Brand & Mar­ket­ing of the com­pany, shares the strate­gies to tar­get ru­ral cus­tomers: “We use sev­eral off­line and point of sale tech­nique to pro­mote the sale of our prod­ucts through leaflets, posters, and ban­ners. We use user guides to guide the ru­ral cus­tomers on how to use our mi­cro ATMS. We be­lieve in face to face in­ter­ac­tion with the peo­ple. We of­fer cataract surgery to aged peo­ple, so they be­came in­flu­encer for our prod­ucts and ser­vices. Word of mouth pro­vides most of the cus­tomer for us. We show Bho­jpuri movies to the ru­ral cus­tomers by us­ing pro­jec­tors, and dis­trib­ute chai and samosa to main­tain the re­la­tion­ships with them.”


B2B pay­ments are the key fo­cus for the pay­ments com­pa­nies. The com­pa­nies are com­ing up with a com­plete suite of B2B ori­ented prod­ucts which would help solve is­sues like in­voice col­lec­tion, mul­ti­ple ven­dor dis­burse­ments, pay­ment track­ing, etc. The pay­ments com­pa­nies have also re­ceived good cus­tomer feed­back for ex­ist­ing so­lu­tions like ECOD, an online pay­ment col­lec­tion sys­tem at the time of de­liv­ery, which is used by lo­gis­tics and e-com­merce busi­nesses to re­place cash te­dious and costly cash col­lec­tion sys­tems.


Paytm has un­veiled a new dig­i­tal cam­paign. It is us­ing a film to pro­mote its online travel busi­ness. It is in­tended to cre­ate over­all aware­ness about wide range of travel (ticket book­ing) re­lated of­fer­ings from Paytm. The con­ve­nience of find­ing the com­plete bou­quet of air, rail and road travel book­ing op­tions un­der one roof com­bined with the ease of pay­ment has en­abled the com­pany to be a one-stop des­ti­na­tion for ev­ery­one’s travel needs.

Ox­i­gen had adopted ‘Play­ing Host’ theme in its mar­ket­ing cam­paign. In 2015, the com­pany had spon­sored South African cricket team’s dress for its tour of In­dia. In 2016, it spon­sored New Zealand T-shirts dur­ing the In­dia tour. “We are also the T-shirt spon­sors of the Gu­jarat Li­ons in the IPL 2017. We also use print me­dia to in­form our cus­tomers about the im­por­tant no­tices, etc. Apart from that, we also used so­cial me­dia chan­nels to reach our cus­tomers,” says Me­her Sarid.

Karan Sarin, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer, Ra­zor­pay, says the com­pany had launched a se­ries of events called Re­vup, which is tar­geted at early stage start-ups. The events are part of the com­pany’s at­tempt to help the fu­ture generation of en­trepreneurs by cre­at­ing a plat­form that helps them col­lab­o­rate with in­dus­try ex­perts and learn from their ex­pe­ri­ences along with ours. The cam­paign in­tends to build a com­plete sup­port ecosys­tem. The com­pany has also in­tro­duced Ra­zor­pay Zero Plan, that helps en­trepreneurs put be­hind the has­sles of find­ing right busi­ness so­lu­tions needed to kick­start their busi­ness. This plan of­fers zero-charge ser­vices from Ra­zor­pay and its part­ners such as Ex­o­tel, Lend­ingkart, and Zoho among oth­ers, help them get started.


Con­tent mar­ket­ing is ef­fec­tive when con­tent is pre­cisely mapped with the var­i­ous stages of the buyer’s jour­ney. Most of the time, be­fore be­com­ing a cus­tomer, a prospect will first go through what’s called the sales fun­nel. The sales fun­nel con­sists of dif­fer­ent stages a cus­tomer goes through lead­ing up to their pur­chase - from aware­ness (top of the fun­nel), to con­sid­er­a­tion (mid­dle of the fun­nel), to con­ver­sion (bot­tom of the fun­nel).

Says Sarin: “Our con­tent strat­egy is to pro­vide most rel­e­vant con­tent at each stage

Karan Sarin fo­cuses on help­ing fu­ture generation of en­trepreneurs

of the cus­tomer jour­ney. From more toplevel aware­ness gen­er­at­ing con­tent like blog posts, ar­ti­cles, and so­cial con­tent at the top of the fun­nel, we of­fer more ed­u­ca­tional con­tent like case stud­ies or we­bi­nars dur­ing the con­sid­er­a­tion stage, and fi­nally more de­tailed con­tent like case stud­ies, tes­ti­mo­ni­als, and prod­uct demos that aids se­lec­tion and pur­chase at the bot­tom of the fun­nel.”


Ear­lier, mar­ket­ing de­pended on ‘spray and pray’ push mod­els. But, now a datadriven ap­proach em­pow­ers to un­der­stand our cus­tomers and de­liver an ex­tremely per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ence.

Me­her Sarid of Ox­i­gen says the com­pany is the only one in In­dia that pro­vide cash to dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions. He adds that the com­pany is now fo­cus­ing on the north-east mar­ket for growth. It uses AI for chat­bot, user in­flu­ence and pre­dic­tive anal­y­sis for defin­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

Sarin shares the ex­am­ple about the use of mar­ket­ing tech­nol­ogy to tar­get cus­tomers: “We gather lots of data about our users dur­ing the on­board­ing process. Then, we put all this in­for­ma­tion to­gether and crys­tal­lize our mes­sages into a cam­paign around var­i­ous buyer per­sonas. The emo­tion of the cam­paign’s mes­sages and graph­ics are de­rived from the in­sights we gained from the data we col­lected. I ab­so­lutely be­lieve that data and more im­por­tantly, the in­sight de­rived from data fuels cre­ativ­ity and in­spires bet­ter ini­tia­tives and cam­paigns.”


Paytm has al­lot­ted an ad­ver­tis­ing bud­get of `50-60 crore for the next few months. In June, the com­pany had al­ready shared its plans of spend­ing `600 crore on brand­ing, mar­ket­ing in 2016-17.

Mo­bik­wik on the other hand, has ear­marked `30 crore to be spent in mass me­dia cam­paigns by Jan­uary next year. Upasana Taku, co-founder, Mo­bik­wik, says: “In the wake of the im­mense op­por­tu­nity that de­mon­e­ti­za­tion has pre­sented to the dig­i­tal pay­ment com­pa­nies, we have be­gun a `30 crore cam­paign across chan­nels, which will con­tinue till Jan­uary next year. Cash crunch has im­pacted masses at large and be­ing a ma­jor player in the in­dus­try, it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to ed­u­cate masses about wal­let pay­ments to make their lives eas­ier and help them over­come the chal­lenges be­ing faced due to the short­age of phys­i­cal cur­rency.”

Ox­i­gen is spend­ing around `100 crore in mar­ket­ing. It is plan­ning to in­crease its dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing bud­get.

Sarin of Ra­zor­pay says the com­pany has spent con­ser­va­tively on mar­ket­ing. Most of the com­pany’s growth has been or­ganic and word of mouth has been the most ef­fec­tive chan­nel. “We brought a fast, af­ford­able and se­cure way for mer­chants, schools, e-com­merce and other com­pa­nies to ac­cept pay­ments online. Our ini­tial users loved our prod­uct be­cause it solved a real prob­lem and in re­turn, they spread the word. We just en­sured that mar­ket­ing is tied to the prod­uct and it rep­re­sents what the prod­uct de­liv­ers. Our mar­ket­ing ef­forts con­tinue to be as in­no­va­tive as the prod­uct they serve,” he adds.


The pay­ment and wal­lets com­pa­nies have di­verse au­di­ences and the goal is to en­gage with them in the most rel­e­vant way. For large com­pa­nies, they or­ga­nize events that are more con­tex­tual to their do­main and func­tions. For tar­get­ing small com­pa­nies, prod­uct aware­ness events are or­ga­nized. To give dif­fer­ent mes­sages to dif­fer­ent au­di­ences, and to ad­dress their unique needs the events are of­ten tai­lor-made.


There will be po­ten­tial growth for In­dian e-pay­ments com­pa­nies in the com­ing years. The re­cent changes in the reg­u­la­tory frame­work are driven by the need to fa­cil­i­tate pay­ment sys­tems that com­bine the much-val­ued at­tributes of safety, se­cu­rity and univer­sal reach with tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions that en­able faster pro­cess­ing and en­hanced con­ve­nience and in­ter-op­er­abil­ity, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on ro­bust reg­u­la­tion for sys­tem­i­cally im­por­tant play­ers. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see the how the frame­work evolves and keeps pace in this space over the com­ing years and match steps with tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions.

Sunil Kulka­rni projects mi­cro ATM as a one-stop so­lu­tion for all pay­ments trans­ac­tions

Me­her Sarid em­pha­sizes build­ing strong re­la­tions with ru­ral cus­tomers

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