Keen to bridge gap between kiranas and customers, PhonePe to digitise 25M small merchants

Digital payments platform PhonePe aims to offer small merchants in semi-urban and rural areas end-to-end control of the payment process.

Flipkart-owned PhonePe on Monday said it would enable digital payments for over 25 million small merchants across India in the next one year.

The company will also onboard these 'kiranas' on its 'PhonePe for Business' app, offering them end-to-end control of the payment process, including instant payment confirmations, receipts, and reconciliations.

PhonePe plans to reach 5,500 talukas via its merchant acquisition team that will lead to over 10,000 jobs being created in semi-urban and rural areas.

The company said that despite the rapid penetration of digital payments, kiranas across India still rely on cash. Kirana owners have smartphones, data, and the aspiration to adopt newer technology, and are looking to acquire customers and forge deeper relationships with them.

Customers, on the other hand, are looking for safety and convenience, while continuing to access their local trusted neighbourhood merchant, it said.

"PhonePe is all set to bridge this gap with its multiple offerings. It offers its merchant partners a personalised store page on the PhonePe app, allowing them to list their store timings, share their product catalogue, and promote home delivery options, thereby reaching out to a much wider customer base," the statement said.

Customers can discover local stores in their vicinity and connect with merchants using the call or chat feature to place their orders, and pay remotely via the stores tab on the PhonePe app.

PhonePe is bringing these offerings to merchants in semi-urban and rural areas to help them digitise and grow their business.

"Kiranas and merchants across small villages and towns are striving to progress and prosper. We are really excited to partner with them in this journey and take digital payments to the last mile of India across every village and town," said Vivek Lohcheb, Vice President - Offline Business Development at PhonePe.

PhonePe has over 230 million registered users and is accepted at over 11 million merchant outlets across 500 cities nationally.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)