PayWorld, India’s largest e-pin distributor and aggregator, operates a model which enables customers living in remote and far-flung areas devoid of necessary infrastructure to perform financial transactions electronically.
The company is currently present in almost every district in India and has over 60,000 retail points in 630 locations. It is now planning to widen its network to 1 lakh outlets by the end of the current fiscal year and venture into new segments such as microfinance and data analytics, chief operating officer Praveen Dhabhai told FE. In an interview with Pranay Lakshminarasimhan, Dhabhai also talked about the company’s plans to expand its assisted e-commerce operations. Excerpts…
Are you in any arrangement with any banks, insurance companies or other service providers wherein you provide payments, collection or remittance services for them?
Yes we are. Currently, the Irdai (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) allows us to work with a maximum of two insurance companies. We have tied up with Future Generali and plan to do it with another one. Coming to banks, we are in an arrangement with YES Bank wherein our retailers are business correspondents for the bank. Six satellite television service providers are in tie-ups with us and so are all major mobile operators, 14 of them. We provide collection services for them in areas where they would not have an office or any physical presence whatsoever.
How many transactions did you see last year that came from new, unique customers? What were the nature of these transactions?
Last year, we did 88 million transactions and these were done by 25 million unique users. It can be anything from mobile recharge, bill payments, bus, railway and flight booking, insurance buying, sending money, cash outs and assisted e-commerce.
What kind of services are you looking to provide to e-retailers?
Our model is an assisted one. So even in e-commerce, we want to help retailers sell to a new set of customers and grow their presence in new areas. Any customer can visit our retail point and ask our agent to place an order for whatever he/she wants. The agent helps the customer find the product, places an order for it and accepts payment for it on behalf of the online retailer. The customer can then pick up the product from our retail point whenever it gets delivered. That way, people who do not have bank accounts or are not comfortable with debit or credit cards can still place online orders.
Do you see an opportunity to leverage your consumer base to cross sell more financial products in future?
Yes. In fact, our plan for this year is to enhance our technology and use data analytics tools so that we can target our consumers to cross-sell specific products to them through our already established network of retail points. We have tied up with Capital Float, an NBFC. So, we will collect data, analyze it, and give it to the NBFC so that they can give loans to people who need them using our network. It will start as a pilot project and as a part of that we will analyze our own retailers to try and get loans approved for them. Once the pilot is successful, we intend to open it out for end consumers too so that they can avail of micro credit whenever they need it. It will happen by the end of the next quarter.