Payment gateways taking a rural first approach by enabling Village Entrepreneurs

  Players like Xpay, Paynearby - enabling village commerce through mobile vans, Touch screen kiosks

In its recent Budget, the governement allocated Rs. 6,000 crore for BharatNet to connect 1 lakh Gram Panchayats – a move which clearly intended to empower every Indian with access to a bouquet of e-payment options that are safe, secure, convenient, quick and affordable – even at Gram Panchayat level.

Last October, the RBI issued directions for interoperability which allowed users to transfer money from one wallet company to another and even bank alongside direct connectivity to IMPS along with non-bank participation in the payment system. This has led to a  huge migration of people who used bank transfers earlier to send money back home to digital platforms in remote corners of the country. Now, it is time that government looks at strengthening the payment infrastructure and push more people towards it.As cash continues to be the preferred mode for transactions, especially in semi-rural & rural areas, it becomes imperative to encourage this large section of the population to become a part of the fintech revolution.

One major factor supporting Payment gateways’ inclusion in rural areas is the existence of small businesses in these areas. With Digital wallets as well as apps like UPI (Unified Payments Interface) solution, demand for payment gateway in rural areas has gone up considerably. The businesses in these areas strive to find an apt means to collect payments for them. Players like – XPay.Life , which is enabling a full spectrum of Utility Bill Payments through its Touch Screen Kiosks, mobile vans, have completed 1 lakh transactions in the beta version, worth INR 5 crores. The company offers services across 18+ cities in India with 50,000+ pin codes with 80% of its customer base from rural pockets.

Another similar company called PayNearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd. aspires to empower 20,00,000 stores across Tier I, II and rural towns in India. Using the power of Aadhaar & Mobility, they aim to transform the Nearby retail stores into Fintech Marts.

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