The future of digital payments will be about co-creating solutions and building trust among merchants

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According to a CI Worldwide report, more than 70.3 billion real-time payments transactions were processed globally in 2020, a surge of 41 percent compared to the previous year. The rapid shift in how consumers prefer to shop and pay presents a great opportunity to unite merchants, consumers, acquirers and fintech companies in expanding the adoption of digital payments.

The third episode of Digirupt Finance: Conversations around Digital Innovations in Fintech, hosted by Comviva in association with YourStory, focussed on how tech businesses can leverage digital payments as growth levers and how startups can enable a seamless payments journey for merchants.

Moderated by Monica Jasuja, Head of Product Management, Mobile Financial Solutions, Comviva, the panel featured Pratyush Prasanna, SVP Merchant Payments, Gojek, Singapore; Khilan Haria, VP - Product Management, Razorpay; Manas Mishra, Chief Product Officer, PayU; Gunjan Pradhan, Payments Head - India and ANZ, Netflix.

Putting customer experience at the forefront

Gojek started as a ride-hailing and courier delivery service and has evolved into a unicorn that provides over 20 services today including food delivery, shopping, digital wallet (Go-Pay), bill payments, etc. Digital payments are at the core of Gojek's business, with their disbursement engine being one of the largest in the world. "We built a lot of stickiness around our products to address most non-cash payment methods which helped us enter financial services easily," said Pratyush.

PayU, on the other hand, operates in different parts of the world and has to deal with different regulations. Although many of their solutions are built for a particular market, they have made the process even more seamless by first creating the PayU Hub, which enables cross-border payment with single API integration. The company is also constantly standardising the fraud model and architecture for easy plug-and-play in all payment experiences.

With the recent buyout of Wibmo, Manas added they are co-creating solutions. "PayU is strong on the merchant front and Wibmo on the issuer side. Although we are different entities in different domains, when we get together, we create beautiful products," he shared.

Netflix is known to provide a seamless payments experience which, according to Monica, in Indian parlance is the equivalent of 'fill it, shut it, forget it'. Gunjan says that there is a relentless thirst to solve customer needs in the market. "We want to be as invisible as possible and let consumers enjoy the service they signed up for and not be bothered about trying to fix payment woes," she says, adding, “When it comes to payments, it’s about striking a fine balance between control and convenience."

At Razorpay, the vision is to be a one-stop payment solution, while creating many other value-added services like payment buttons, payment links, routing, subscriptions, splitting payments (route), digital current account (RazorpayX), Credit (Razorpay Capital), etc.

Khilan said, "If there is money movement for a business, we want to ensure the process is as simple as possible. At the heart of it is how much we expose ourselves to merchants. We don't give everything and complicate their life. We pick relevant anchor products from a bouquet of products."

Addressing various merchant challenges

India is one of the largest subscription economies, but trust is missing for seamless subscriptions to occur. "What's important is taking customers on the journey and establishing trust through clear communication," said Gunjan.

She added that you need to be open to address nuances in the local market and build solutions to cater to that market. "We have identified ways of making the sign-up process largely painless by working with regulators and issuing banks to comply with the regulation in recurring payments," she said.

That being said, Monica mentioned that today there are multiple digital payment acceptance methods that overwhelm merchants, especially SMEs. “It’s important to make these options viable, understandable and get them to accept digital payments,” she said.

At Razorpay, they simplify the experience by investing energy into building a personalised experience. "Our offerings are different to meet customers and merchants of different sizes, mindsets and challenges," said Khilan.

Pratyush added that it's difficult to build a one-size-fits-all solution for all these markets. At Gojek, they have built a standard backbone for normal payments that they replicate across geographies. They then define the flow for specific instruments as they go to a particular market. They also work closely with the latest and the greatest methods in each geography to make transactions efficient.

PayU's Manas said that merchants see payments not just as an enabler but as a growth engine. "They have already solved a basic need and we consider ourselves a strategic partner for them. We co-create solutions to add value for their customers' pain points," he said.

Solving for payments of the future

With Gojek's recent merger with Tokopedia, Pratyush said they now have three levers - drivers, customers and merchants. They are trying to improve the experience for all of them, right from onboarding, to making the payments journey impeccable.

Manas said that as payments are digitising very fast, the willingness to adopt it, both by customers and merchants, is growing. "You need to start thinking about how to solve for experiences in Tier II and III cities. Omnichannel and affordability are going to be keywords for merchants in the next couple of years."

Netflix will continue to focus on payment performance behind the scenes and continue to make sure they are optimised for success. "What we will continue to do is really understand security and convenience. They need to go hand in hand, one can't be compromised at the cost of the other," said Gunjan.

Razorpay's Khilan said, "We will continue to be at the forefront of innovation, simplify our offerings for merchants to drive digitisation and democratise it. Most importantly, we will be the critical party to enable trust for consumers and businesses."

If you're a fintech startup, banking professional or fintech enthusiast looking to transform your business into a digital-first enterprise by 2025, don't miss the next episode of Digirupt Finance on ‘Digital lending: Scripting inclusive success' on November 18, 2021. Register Now.


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