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What enables higher success rates for PayU? Discussing Payment Gateways with PayU Country Head, Nitin Gupta

Jubin Mehta
27th Sep 2012
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Payment gateways have been a huge hassle for startups in India. Looking for a good payment gateway can be compared to a bumpy road, companies have options to choose from when selecting a gateway but the pros are outweighed by the cons. PayU, a part of Naspers group has a presence in 16 countries and entered India in October 2011. Since then it has captured a significant market share. Competing with the likes of more popular brands like EBS and CCAvenues, PayU along with the other payment gateways is giving stiff competition to break the hold that conventional options have on businesses.
Headed by Nitin Gupta in India, PayU has gained in momentum and has marquee clients like GoIbibo, Jabong, rechargeitnow, travelyaari and ferns n petals. “We’ve 12% more success rates compared to our competitors,” says Nitin confidently. Nitin, who previously founded Khojguru.com, is an engineer from IIT Delhi and did his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Post his stint as an investment banker, he started up and took up the PayU offer as he found it to be a very challenging task. “PayU focuses on emerging countries and India is a key strategic location for Naspers. Building the product from scratch for India, our main area of focus was to improve the success rates for transactions.” informs Nitin.

The biggest and perhaps the only qualm merchants have with payment gateways is the tremendously low success rates. Numbers in the range of 50-60% are very common and merchants are in dire need of better solutions. “Putting a direct number to success rates is very difficult because everyone has a different way of measuring it but we’ve done a lot of nifty intelligent work to get our success rates up and the customers are testimony to that,” says Nitin. So, what is the technology innovation PayU banks on?

  • Analytics: Very indepth analysis has enabled PayU to provide the merchant with precise and reliable information
  • Auto Retry: Whenever a transaction fails, there is an intermediary page that pops up and tells the user why the transaction failed and informs the user of further steps.
  • Dynamic Switching: All the merchants are given multiple payment gateways so that there is a very high chance of a payment going through successfully.
  • Mobile friendly: Efforts have been made to keep it very easy for mobile users

Apart from these, there are close to 60 tools according to Nitin that are working towards making success rates higher. Talking about mobile, Nitin informs, “The distribution is still very skewed with mobile transactions comprising of lesser than 3% of the total pie. So it’s not much but at the same time it is very important.” Complementing this product focus is a very strong sense of customer support. PayU has multiple account managers for the hundreds of merchants across the country. “We make sure that whatever query a merchant might have, gets sorted as quickly as possible,” informs Nitin.

Focus on technology and automation

Along with the strong technology backend, PayU believes in automating processes. For any recurring problem, PayU builds an automated solution so that it doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. “For instance, a common problem is that the money is debited from the users account but the merchant doesn’t know of it. For this, we did two things. We gave them update APIs from our end so that they’d know each time a transaction happens and we also worked closely with the banks to solve this problem with cards at least.” explains Nitin.

The PayU Vault is another feature Nitin is very proud about. Claiming to be the only payment gateway in the country having such strong security backend, PayU uses special hardware to encrypt card details; the data is not even revealed to the back end.

The payment gateway market has been heating up with the likes of Gharpay, Zaakpay, Juspay and more coming in, thus reaching out to merchants or showing the value proposition might be an obstacle. To this, Nitin says, “We entered the market relatively earlier and initially we went to the merchants and had to go out but once the word went out, our work spoke for us. It became a ‘pull’ and the amount of queries we get in a day is huge! Close to 70-80 merchants write in to us every day.”

The PayU team in India is close to 100 members and is primarily structured into 3 verticals: sales, engineering and operations. A rapidly growing team, the immediate focus of PayU is on “Risk”. “Currently, Indian merchants don’t accept international transactions because the risk lies with the merchant. For this, we’re working on building extremely strong fraud detection systems which will soon enable the merchants to start accepting international transactions.” informed Nitin. Also working intimately with the banks, PayU is trying to strengthen security and as Nitin says on a concluding note, “The ‘short term’ aim is to become the number one payment gateway in India.”

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