Small businesses keen to go digital to provide contactless selling to customers: Instamojo

Sharing his views on latest tech innovations in payment gateways in the midst of Covid-19, Ankur Sharma, VP, Analytics, Instamojo speaks about introduction of ‘Sachet Loans over WhatsApp’ for merchants and the Instacash’ feature for immediate loan disbursal

What are some of the latest technology innovations in payment gateways in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic?
Contactless payments are one of the most popular tech innovations in recent times. What started with a few payment service providers has now become unified and available across, and is certainly a boon. They have enabled ease of transactions wherever you are – on any screen or the physical world.

Another recent innovation in this space has to be paperless loans over WhatsApp, at the click of a button. The pandemic has accelerated the demand for loans from small businesses especially. Having said that, using WhatsApp– the most commonly used communication platform has been a great platform that Fintechs have been using to innovate in terms of providing loans to their customers, in the B2B as well as B2C domain. Adding to this are also features such as Instant Loans, which enable customers to get their loan approved within a minute. These two forms of paperless loans are among the most popular and useful innovations in the payment gateway space.

At Instamojo, we recently introduced ‘Sachet Loans over WhatsApp’ for our merchants, where we offered loans to merchants via WhatsApp. Furthermore, we added the ‘Instacash’ feature, where the merchants could get their loan amount disbursed instantly, upon applying. We have seen some great response from our merchants on these products, and thereby, a lot of repeat transactions too. 

As the global pandemic has taken almost the entire world into its grip and has affected businesses globally, what major impacts have you faced because of the novel coronavirus?The pandemic has impacted several industries, one of the key sectors being the MSMEs. However, even amidst the increased uncertainty, we also saw a huge positive impact of more and more small businesses wanting to go digital to provide contactless selling to their customers, and help them provide a safe and trustworthy environment to conduct business seamlessly.

Could you name some of the key cyber threats and frauds that target payment gateways?
A few major cyber threats and frauds that target payment gateways include:

  •       Stolen or lost mobile phones with weak security measures (default PINs)
  •       Impersonation (impersonating bank employees, employees from reputed brands)
  •       Website hacking of online merchants, to dupe buyers to a fraudster’s payment page

Please elaborate on Instamojo’s overall experience with Covid-19 in the past six months? How much business has been affected and what strategies were adopted to withstand this pandemic?
We launched our premium online store offering in May (after completing the acquisition of GetMeAShop), which helps small businesses set up shop on the internet for free. It has benefited thousands of new-to-online businesses to tackle the pandemic by quickly moving their businesses online, by providing all the critical services of storefront, payments and shipping in one easy to use platform. Our business continues to see steady growth even during the pandemic, as we continue to improve the premium online store by adding more features that’d help businesses to set up a beautiful and functional online shop in minutes.

What are the goals of the company in the next 5-6 years?
Instamojo aims to become the full-stack solution provider for MSMEs across the world by giving them access to all their needs under one platform, so that they can focus on their core business, while using Instamojo’s DIY services to start, manage and grow their business online.

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  • Jacob Perez

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