While Paytm, Google Pay, Naspers-owned PayU, and other players were aggressively trying to rope in small businesses on their platform, as B2B doesn't bleed the business, the big scramble is for over 60 million small businesses.
The UK based Fintech startup PayQ and its CEO Shibabrata Bhaumik is trying to get them hooked to the PayQ payment gateway and then offering them a host of services, including loans, and easy payment acceptance and settlement to small businesses including Kirana shops and that would lead to an intense battle, where incumbents could face the heat.
The coronavirus pandemic might help to achieve India's stated goals of creating a less-cash economy and enhancing financial inclusion. Shoppers at even neighborhood stores now want contactless digital payments and that demand dovetails with what lenders want in lieu of working capital loans - digital invoices and online transaction records.
The multi-currency, multinational payment processor PayQ, which is now active in India in a sandbox environment along with other leading UPI player have started to tap into the new customer trend who relies deeply on smartphone access for online payments. Financial compes are leveraging this opportunity to meet demand through digital media.
PayQ founder Shibabrata Bhaumik is fond of Indian Financial regulators like RBI and SEBI who encourage innovation in the Fintech space by allowing start-ups to experiment in 'sandboxes' that will offer them temporary regulatory protection especially during the pandemic stage.
As regulators like RBI and SEBI develop the framework for these sandboxes, UK-based fintech start-up PayQ now wants to be allowed into these sandboxes to get more comfortable with financial transactions for domestic as well as cross border transactions.
Shibabrata's Fintech startup PayQ, headquartered at London, which is growing at breakneck speed, is known for implementing blockchain for Frictionless Payments and has surged USD 1.2 billion in the last financial year.
In conversation with Digpu, Shibabrata said, "As regulators and state governments here in India has set up sandboxes for Fintech compes and they are providing relaxation, we are working with them to open the sandboxes and operate within the guidelines."
Sandboxes are regulatory safe havens created for Fintech start-ups to operate in. They allow live testing of new products or services on real customers in a controlled environment. If these experiments are successful and PayQ grows to a pre-determined scale, PayQ will soon exit the sandbox to operate in the open market under full regulatory supervision and will compete with the major UPI payment players like PhonePe and PayTm.
PayQ's digital payment platform also includes digital billing to even geotagging, Shibabrata believes that merchant digitization business will boom when the lockdown eases.
PayQ also deals with a merchant account for high-risk businesses like payment gateway for tech support, Merchant accounts for Pharmacy and aims to go beyond the traditional payment method to revolutionize the e-commerce industry.
Shibabrata announced small-ticket credit to PayQ Merchants like Kirana Shops and small businesses. PayQ is the latest entrant to the club of Paytm, PhonePe, and BharatPe, with the company announcing its ambitions to lend in a filing with local regulators.
PayQ is unlikely to play for runners' and players like Paytm and Phonepe will have to aggressively defend their crowns.
PayQ's entry to India comes at a very opportune time. During the lockdown, several questions have been raised about the readiness of the Indian grassroots system to allow its small businesses to participate in an end-to-end digital ecosystem that powers content, transactions, and finally, payments and fulfillment.
With this one move, PayQ has clearly sent out signals to take on the giants in the payments, content, and e-commerce spaces, simultaneously.
PayQ's entry portends well for India, as it is likely to bring more serious and diversified investors in the country, reducing its reliance on Chinese money. However, the Indian consumer will be the final and the ultimate deal-seeker yet demands the best user experience at the lowest cost.
Though PayQ has grown exponentially on the adoption of new territory starting from the United Kingdom to diversifying its merchant acquisition to the European Union and then stepping to Asian Countries its business models is still evolving.
With economic growth slowing down and consumer demand in India tempered, Shibabrata Bhaumik's PayQ is at an interesting crossroads.
Shibabrata, also popularly known as 'Fintech Chanakya' posits a future in which thousands of startups use crypto to raise capital in a global marketplace no longer controlled by Wall Street firms.
Within a decade, he predicts, the number of people participating in the blockchain economy will explode from 50 million to 1 billion. We are destined to enjoy a financial system that is "more global, more fair, more free and more efficient".
Given all this snitching, the final test will be "how does PayQ appeal to the end user in India?"
This story is provided by Digpu. will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (/Digpu)
( With inputs from ANI )