Flipkart-owned PhonePe on Monday said it will enable digital payments for over 2.5 crore small merchants or 'kiranas' across India in the next one year. The company will also onboard these 'kiranas' on its 'PhonePe for Business' app, offering them end-to-end control of payment process, including instant payment confirmations, receipts and reconciliations, a statement said.
PhonePe plans to reach 5,500 talukas via its merchant acquisition team that will lead to over 10,000 jobs being created in semi-urban and rural areas, it added. Despite the rapid penetration of digital payments, kiranas across India still rely on cash, it said.
Kirana owners have smartphones, data and the aspiration to adopt newer technology, and are looking to acquire customers and forge deeper relationships with them. Customers, on the other hand, are looking for safety and convenience, while continuing to access their local trusted neighbourhood merchant, it said.
"PhonePe with its multiple offerings is all set to bridge this gap. It offers its merchant partners a personalised store page on the PhonePe app allowing them to list their store timings, share their product catalogue and promote home delivery options, thereby reaching out to a much wider customer base," the statement said.
Customers can discover local stores in their vicinity and connect with the merchants using the call or chat feature to place their orders, and pay remotely via the stores tab on the PhonePe app. PhonePe is bringing these offerings to merchants in semi-urban and rural areas to help them digitise and grow their business, the statement said.
"Kiranas and merchants across small villages and towns are striving to progress and prosper. We are really excited to partner with them in this journey and take digital payments to the last mile of India across every village and town," Vivek Lohcheb, Vice President - Offline Business Development at PhonePe, said.
PhonePe has over 230 million registered users and is accepted at over 11 million merchant outlets across 500 cities nationally.