[Product Roadmap] With a surge in digital payments, fintech startup PayU is embracing product innovation, focusing on Bharat
Digital financial transactions in the country have been on the rise ever since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, spurred mainly by the emphasis on physical distancing and safety concerns. For Indian fintech players, this has forced many to innovate and address fresh challenges to ensure seamless digital transactions for all users, including micro, small, and medium businesses and customers from beyond the metros and rural India.
One such fintech firm is PayU India.
As one of the leading online B2B payment solutions provider in the country, PayU — which caters to different kinds of businesses such as large enterprises, SMEs, and even individual merchants — already takes care of the entire financial life cycle for merchants, right from creating professional invoices, enabling payments via QR codes, to creating personalised websites, simplifying and automating their back-end processes.
Now, to cater to customers’ evolving needs, PayU is innovating its product offerings for merchants to provide pay-outs and affordability options at the point of sale and enable omnichannel payments in the coming months, as well as focusing on building a wide variety of payment options for ‘Bharat’ customers, or users from beyond the metros, given the increased adoption of digital transactions across the country.
“The product innovation has to always start with a ‘customer first’ approach. Although our business model is B2B, a large part of what we build is used by end consumers. Hence, we need to solve the pain points of end consumers during their payment journey,” Manas Mishra, Chief Product Officer, PayU India, tells YourStory.
Besides this, the COVID-19 pandemic having brought about significant changes in consumer behaviour, there is a significant need to innovate, particularly for a fintech startup like PayU, which serves over 3.5 lakh merchants with over 100 payment methods and is the preferred payments partner for about 60 percent of ecommerce merchants in the country.
Manas Mishra, Chief Product Officer, PayU India
“The pandemic has caused significant changes in the payments ecosystem. Customer behaviour and shopping patterns have been inclined heavily towards contactless payments and remote commerce,” Manas says.
Launched in 2011 in India, the Naspers Group-owned company has seen the country become one of its fastest growing markets globally, achieving $100 million revenue in FY18 in India.
Innovation at scale
“Our product innovation mantra is to create sustainable products that not only meet business needs but also add value on a larger scale and increase business efficiency. PayU has a strong product and tech-driven culture where we are constantly working on innovative and industry-first solutions using cutting edge technology,” says Manas.
According to him, PayU India works with merchants, lending partners, and other ecosystem players to build solutions at scale to remove inefficiencies in the ecosystem and help digitise India.
For merchants, the company looks at all their payment-related needs in addition to payment processing such as helping them process payouts, providing them instant settlements, and helping them get access to funds.
All this comes in the backdrop of rising adoption in digital payments. According to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) volumes touched 1.61 billion transactions worth Rs 2.98 trillion in August as compared to 1.49 billion transactions in July worth Rs 2.9 trillion.
For larger merchants, Manas says, “The ability to handle scale is what separates us from the rest of the industry. The PayU platform offers the highest transaction success rates in the industry and the highest transactions per second.”
Besides this, other products like integrated bill pay system, insights into data, Surepay, redirect, One Tap Payment, automated chargeback settlement process, and all payment and subscription options for customers have driven the innovation curve for PayU with regard to enterprise businesses.
In the case of SMB merchants, the requirements are different. It includes creating professional invoices, payments via QR codes, creating personalised websites, automating the backend processes, and merchant cash advance to help improve liquidity.
“Innovation is the key tenet that cuts across our product range – be it for small businesses or large enterprises,” says Manas.
Catering to Bharat
The increased adoption of digital transactions is also making strong inroads into Bharat, and PayU is in the process of creating a wide variety of payment options.
Manas says, “We recently introduced electronic fund transfer (EFT) Payment solutions, which have been created exclusively for merchants who would like to make inroads in Tier-II III cities, where customers’ preferred mode of payment transactions is through banks.”
PayU has also added the QR feature to ensure businesses and customers can track the status of their payment in real-time. It also plans to introduce more such products for these merchants in the upcoming months.
Given the various digital transaction touchpoints like UPI, PoS, and QR codes, PayU has also lined up a roadmap, which will cater to all these requirements.
Manas says, “We still have a long way to go to drive the adoption of digital payments in India. Even with matured payment methods like cards and net banking, we are looking at how we can help new users come on-board and continue to use these digital modes of payment for a superior experience.”
To develop a full-fintech ecosystem and cater to the evolving needs, PayU’s product approach will focus on meeting the wide-ranging business and digital payment requirements of merchants.
With UPI, it wants to drive deeper strategic integration with industry players and NPCI, provide the best-aggregated platform, and keep introducing new features for merchant convenience such as UPI one-time mandate.
Payouts is another focus area of PayU where it aims to enhance platform capabilities with multiple bank integrations and features like payouts from pay-ins.
“We intend to create an intuitive and smooth merchant experience with dynamic routing, PayU dashboard, and other features,” says Manas.
At the same time, PayU also has a sharp focus on affordability options at the point of sale with targeted offers and promotions to stimulate consumer spending, increase ticket size and sales for merchants.
Omnichannel payment is another key focus area for PayU. “We are focussing on helping merchants provide contactless payment experience to customers both in-store and online through methods like QR, PoS, and other solutions,” says Manas.
The clear goal for PayU India is to have a best-in-class payment processing system across all payment methods such as cards, UPI, net banking, and wallets for all types of merchants.
Today COVID-19 has spurred the adoption of digital payment with various forms of contactless kind of transactions where the customer can pay on the go and this could result in higher business volumes for merchants and enterprises.
Manas believes, “Post COVID-19, businesses will move towards a cohesive and unified payment experience for a mature payment journey, rather than fragmented payments systems and services.”