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How HSBC is supporting the growth of Indian EdTech companies with a seamless payment solution

HSBC India recently launched its Omni Collect service that is designed to simplify and streamline the way businesses collect their digital payments, and easily adapt to changes in consumer trends while reducing costs.

How HSBC is supporting the growth of Indian EdTech companies with a seamless payment solution

Monday September 14, 2020 , 5 min Read

India’s EdTech sector has seen tremendous growth in recent times. With a current user base of around 9.6 million, EdTech was India’s second-most funded sector after fintech and financial services in H1 2020, according to YourStory Research, with over $714 million in funding raised by EdTech startups.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that improved access to quality education can increase a country’s GDP per capita by 23 percent in the next 40 years. Given the potential of the EdTech sector to make quality education more accessible, and also provide the necessary skills for today’s job market, EdTech is expected to play a crucial role in India’s economic growth.

The shutting down of schools and colleges due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growing number of internet and mobile users, and the facilitation of examinations by EdTech platforms are some of the reasons that contributed to the sector’s exponential growth in the current scenario. As a result, India’s EdTech market is expected to reach $3.5 billion by 2022.

The importance of a seamless payment experience

When it comes to growth, the main focus of the EdTech sector has been around developing strategies for content creation and dissemination, customer acquisition and retention, among others.

However, given the growing need to reduce the time gap between acquiring a customer and receiving the payments from them, payment mechanisms and collection strategies have also gained importance.

Dr. Ralf Speth once said “If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”

The same holds true when you are making it easy for your customers to make payments and for your team to reconcile them. A bad experience on this front can be costly.

“New age banking is not only about digitization of traditional banking procedures but to help create unified customer experience,” says Anuj Kanwar, Head Transaction Banking, Business Banking, HSBC India.

Challenges to providing a seamless payment experience

While a plug-and-play banking solution that can get off the ground swiftly is often seen as the way forward, providing such a payment experience to the end-user of a rapidly-scaling business often has many aspects that require consideration. The top three include:

1. Building a scalable collections model, which can cope up with volume growth:

EdTech companies need a collection model that incorporates the maximum number of digital payment methods; an efficient subscription management system; and real-time connectivity via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for immediate collection and transaction inquiry, among others. The challenge of incorporating these features magnifies with the increase in the volume of the customer base. When was the last time you carried out concurrency testing for your receivables? That’s the most important fuel for your growth.

2. Reconcile on-the go:

Ever wondered how encyclopedia companies use to reconcile their door-to-door sales in the past? Reconciling payments against an account or even at an invoice level can be a challenge, especially for businesses that are dealing directly with the consumer. Accomplishing this in real-time, especially when carrying out assisted sales and seeking commitment from the customer, can be challenging. Often, startups may not even have the luxury of a few hours to close the sale; at the same time, the identification of the effort of the salesperson on the ground has to be acknowledged and accounted for.

3. Easy refunds:

If the initial cancellation refund took seven days to reach its bank account, would a customer want to come back to the brand? A good customer experience not only involves providing a world-class user interface, but it also includes caring about how you handle the cashflow between your stakeholders, and most importantly, your customer. Most EdTech companies either work on subscription or on-demand payment models. When it comes to processing refunds, the biggest challenges include access, time and effort to validate the banking details of your customer and processing refunds in no time.

“Most startups work with limited resources and more often than not we observe— receivables may not be data rich, and in most case, they are unpredictable and amalgamated in a fragmented fashion with invoices, resulting in time and resource inefficiencies,” says Anuj.

How EdTech companies can provide a seamless payment experience

Keeping the above needs in mind, HSBC India recently launched its Omni Collect service. A one-stop solution that provides multiple payment options to their customers and provides a consolidated view across multiple modes including bank transfers, card payments and e-wallet transactions. A single interface with HSBC supports both in-store and online purchases across multiple service providers and payments are consolidated into a single account with a host of advance reconciliation and automation features to improve operational efficiency.

It is designed to simplify and streamline the way businesses collect their digital payments and easily adapt to changes in consumer trends while reducing costs.

With a single integration interface, customised reports for easier reconciliations, and a bespoke solution from a global bank, learn how HSBC is helping EdTech companies in their growth journey by providing a seamless payments experience.

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