“India Is At The Forefront Of Payment Innovations, With UPI And Bharat QR”

With a plethora of digital payments platform in India, seems that people are really becoming conversant with the same. How has technology helped take the leap but?

Just last month, Express Computer had reported that there were key appointments happening at the PayU office. Soon after this, we got in touch with PayU’s Mohit Gopal, Senior Vice President and Strategy Head, PayU India, to gauge how technology has been determining their success, and also what do their long term milestones look like.

Edited excerpts:

With a lot of changes in the hierarchy, what does the immediate milestone of PayU look like?

As we enter the next phase of growth for our business, the appointment of new leaders in our executive team will enable us to deliver a stellar Fintech experience that meets the demands of a changing market which is rich with opportunity. Our leaders bring in the right mix of energy and experience to drive businesses, innovation, & operations. Our immediate milestone is to scale up the digital payments by capturing newer segments across channels (online/offline) and to provide value-added services for our merchant partners. We are also highly focussed on growing our credit business. These will help us strengthen our position as the market leader.

Being a digital and fintech player, how has technology been shaping and redefining business for PayU?

PayU has been one of the early entrants in the fintech space and we have been constantly reinventing ourselves to take new payment technologies to the market. We work closely with all ecosystem players – customers or merchants, banks, regulators, payment networks and other new-age start-ups to build the best technology products to grow the industry and solve some key business problems for our partners.  Our acquisitions, like Wibmo and PaySense, are also strategically planned to build a technologically superior stack in payments and lending and to drive more value to our partners. We are quick to adapt to changes in the ecosystem – be it wallets, UPI, QR codes; we continuously re-look at our go-to-market strategies and core product stack to not only meet demand but also drive innovations. 

Do you think India has to strive hard to implement all the technical advances with every passing day?

India is at the forefront of payment innovations – especially with platforms like UPI and Bharat QR. Rapid adoption, digital push by the government and technology innovations are making the ecosystem progressive and dynamic. While we have attained some reach, we have a long way to go with a huge untouched market with gaps in infrastructure, risks, etc. For example, while demonetization was extremely beneficial in shifting customer behaviour towards using digital modes of payment, merchants did not have the required systems and networks in place to get going immediately. As a result, there was a period of chaos. Due to our size and limitations, we have to work really hard to ensure that all innovations are accessible by everyone. There are various start-ups working in this space to address demand and even the RBI is coming up with Digital Payments Index (DPI), that will share a relatively accurate picture of the penetration of various digital payment modes across India. This should help us identify the gaps in implementation and adoption of digital technologies and hence address them sustainably.  

How is PayU catering to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where the audience is yet not well equipped?

Mobile & data penetration is at an all-time high across the country including tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In fact, these cities are growing at a faster rate. While the customer is becoming more tech savvy and the reach of online payments is also growing rapidly, the behaviour shift is yet to happen. Adoption of online payments is relatively slower, largely due to consumer preference of buying at stores which they trust and where they can experience products/services. While we provide all online solutions to reach these audience, we are also rapidly scaling our offline payments business that includes integrated POS machines, QR based payments, link and pay etc. to close the gap.          

Amid so many other players in the market, how is PayU faring differently?

We are already the most scalable and reliable technology platform in the country right now, preferred by a large number of our partners across industry verticals. We are not complacent of our position in the market and continuously work with our partners to understand their needs and changes in the ecosystem to build newer and better products. Our strategic partnerships and acquisitions are also helping us drive more value for partners & deliver excellence. All this helps us build a trusted and long-lasting relationship with partners.   

What does PayU’s further scaling plans look like?

We plan to leverage our partnership with Wibmo to enhance our payments platform and with PaySense to scale our credit business. We are also looking to grow our offline business to become a one-stop payments provider for merchant across all channels. This is a part of our larger vision to develop a full Fintech ecosystem in India. From a market perspective, we are looking to partner more with the Government and Compulsive businesses since this is where the masses need to be engaged for digital payments. On the organization side, we are looking to create more diversity in workforce to bring in fresh ideas and encourage innovation at every step of the work, be it product development, productivity or go-to-market strategies.  

Lastly, what role do you see technology playing in India 5 years down the line?

Firstly, five years is a long time in technology. Technology is already an integral part of our lives and in next 2-3 years, it stands a chance to change a lot of aspects for payments and lending. We will soon see more adoption of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in various aspects of technology – be it smart processing of transactions or making credit available to the right set of customers who really need it or simply understanding customers more to serve them right.  We will see core payments slowly becoming hygiene factors and companies focusing on providing better, faster and more effortless payment experiences. Payment form factors like contactless transactions, biometric authentication, face & touch recognition will become part of daily routine to make experience seamless with greater security. When it comes to fintech, India is certainly moving faster than the rest of the world and these are truly exciting times for all of us. Finally, we will see technology essentially becoming a smart invisible layer powering all financial services. 


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