PayU's Saranjeet Singh: The growth of the payment gateway market is inevitable

MUMBAI: Be it Snapdeal, Flipkart, Shopclues, Jabong or Myntra,  most of the successful eCommerce merchants in the country are at a strategic investment phase and haven't still broken even. The Indian e-Commerce business is not yet at a point when the players can think of profits, the players are still focused on the customer delight factor. Besides price, a huge part of this customer delight factor directly depends on the ease with which customers can pay for their purchases. Therefore, payment gateways facilitating such transactions have become crucial to the digital age and the businesses of this era.


Though various digital wallets such PayTM, Mobikwik and Oxygen enable online transactions, businesses would be literally crippled without payment gateways.  In order to understand this emerging market better, Indiatelevision.com  spoke with PayU India digital marketing head Saranjeet Singh.


“The growth of the payment gateway market is inevitable,” says Singh. “More people are using the internet beyond just social media and have discovered the joy of doing business online. Soon they will understand that it is important for the ease of business to accept money online as well, and that is where payment gateways will come in.”


Currently PayU India commands a lion's share of the market with 80 out of the top 100 eCommerce merchants subscribed to its PayU Biz product.  Apart from the premium clientele, the brand also caters to small and medium enterprises in the country through PayU Money. At present, its SME clientele  base is  about 1.5 lakh strong.


Where effective marketing for a product like PayU is concerned, Singh reveals that he is focusing on B2B communications through  digital media that allows him to identify potential merchants who could benefit from online payment and then showcasing the service to them.

“There are several online merchants who are unaware of their need for a payment gateway. Our job is to identify them and observe and learn where they can apply our services. Unlike several other payment service providers, we don't believe in the cash back formula. We'd rather concentrate on developing a credible and wholesome product that caters to all the clients’ needs,” Singh reveals.  


Given the competitive market, the three things that every online merchant, (especially the bigger eCommerce players) wants the most from a payment gateway are: highest rate of successful transactions; largest coverage by all the modes of payment; and the most number of banks. Online payment opens up a whole new vista for merchants operating digitally, right from an addition to a ‘call to action’ feature on their portals/ websites, to the measurability factor. “All our clients put a heavy emphasis on the online transaction data and analytics that we provide them. It works as a strong consumer behaviour insight for them which they can later use in marketing or even product or service development,” Singh informs.


In spite of a strong demand for payment gateways, there are several factors that prevent their penetration in the market. Singh feels that there is still a lot of room for improvement. Elaborating, Singh explains, “The industry is in a dire need of behavioural change. People are more used to cash, and therefore merchants, especially SMEs are taking a while to adapt to accepting money online. But just like how people had once migrated from cash to credit and debit cards, they will soon migrate to online payments as long as there is a value.”


Another drawback is the lack of ease of transactions led mainly by poor and erratic internet coverage that sometimes forces consumers to put off a purchase.  Added to this is a very complicated government security procedure that every payment gateway must comply with. “We understand the shortcomings that come from the current uneven internet coverage throughout the country. Considering that, we have launched PayU One Tap for our high end clients that lets their consumers go through the transaction in one go by saving their card details for future payments to the same merchant,” says Singh.

Wouldn’t that jeopardize security of the cardholders and make their information vulnerable to hackers? Singh reassures that the new OneTap product is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certified, which is an RBI security clearance certification that every Payment gateway must undergo to enter the market.  


He says, “While we understand why people crib about the heavily secure payment gateways in India that can make consumer upset, it is necessary to protect them. I guess it depends on how your market is placed. If you compare the Indian market to that of a developed country’s market, the Indian market is still very immature. Therefore a sense of security needs to be built first if everyone is to adopt digital money transactions”. As far as incomplete transactions are concerned due to over complicated security process, OneTap allows users to continue their payment right from where they left off with the use of powerful algorithms."

Continuing further, Singh speaks about another general concern that is often raised by users and in turn by PayU’s clients - the inability to complete transactions through international cards. Acknowledging the importance of setting up an inclusive payment structure that welcomes foreign business, Singh shares that currently there are restrictions on foreign card holders to purchase from Indian eCommerce merchants. But the issue is being looked into, with the eCommerce players increasingly insisting that their payment gateways also cater to international customers. Singh says that PayU  has several clients that accept international payments. 

Going forward Singh foresees a surge in online traffic thanks to 4G networks coming in in 2016, and more people taking to the Internet to shop for products and services. Payment gateways will not only be the first choice for new age businesses, but through a gradual transition most SMEs and old school businesses will also adapt to payment gateways.


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