Moneycontrol
Nov 08, 2017 07:00 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Demonetisation: What founders of financial tech startups feel a year after the note ban

Financial-tech companies say that growth rate in digital payments which was earlier in the range of 20-50 percent has accelerated to now 40-70 percent

While small and medium businesses and consumer goods startups crib about the negative impact of demonetization, one sector which is not complaining at all is Fin-Tech.

India's financial-tech companies say that growth rate in digital payments which was earlier in the range of 20-50 percent has accelerated to now 40-70 percent, in last 12 months.

UPI payments have seen a jump from Rs 100 crore in November 2016 to Rs 6,400 crore in October 2017.

The volume of prepaid payment instrument (PPI) based transactions, mobile wallets, gift cards and vouchers spiked from 59 million to 87.8 million in months of November to December last year, as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Backed with such data, entrepreneurs in the fintech space say that demonetisation has had a positive impact on their business.

Here are some of their reactions on the anniversary of demonetisation:

CashKaro cofounder and CEO

While stating the effect of Demonetisation, Swati Bhargava, Co-founder of CashKaro.com said that the company saw an initial decline in transactions for first ten days of demonetization.

“The transactions started getting back to normal from first week of December. The announcement of demonetization brought a lot of value consciousness amongst shoppers. People therefore turned to cashback and coupon sites which added to their savings especially during cash crunch. Therefore, we saw an increase in the number of people visiting the site.”

She added, “It might have looked like it will spell doom in the short run, but now with a year gone by, it makes the future of e-commerce in India look more promising offering enormous potential and opportunities.

Fintech firm i-exceed’s Executive Director:

Sundararajan, an Executive Director of Fin-tech startup I-exceed said, “Post demonetization there has been a sharp rise in the number of offerings that cater to peer-to-peer payments, merchant payments and bill payments. Now, consumers can choose from mobile banking apps, payment wallets, BHIM, UPI apps like Tez, PhonePe.”

He added, “Demonetization has also ushered in faster adoption of changes in the infrastructure technology to facilitate quicker and smoother execution of these transactions.”

Payments Council of India Chairman

Navin Surya, Chairman of Payments Council of India said that the growth rate of the digital payments industry has accelerated post demonetization to up to 70 percent.

“However demonetization is just one of the milestones towards our country’s cashless journey and not the final destination. It conveyed a strong psychological message to our countrymen that cash is not welcome and digitization of cash is inevitable.”

Atom Technologies CEO:

Devang Neralla, MD & CEO of Atom that demonetisation was a big boon for India’s cashless and digital agenda. “Before demonetization, we were processing monthly transactions of Rs 3000 crore which now stands at Rs 6800 crores across all our verticals. The major contributor to this growth was our online payments business,” he said.

Ebix Cash Chief Growth Officer:

Bhavik Vasa, Chief Growth officer of Ebix cash said that demonetisation has been a catalyst event which created an inflection point in the eco-system

“At Ebix ItzCash we now have more than 2,00,000 retail touch points across the country, our ability to be an omni-channel player, has helped us clock a growth of 35-40% across sectors.

For us it has been about enabling more and more of ‘Bharat’ to come on-board and transact in a digital economy and today we do more than 6,00,000 transactions daily across a healthy of all my instruments.

We think, this is only round one.. It is a long marathon and the game has just begun!.”

Skootr CEO:

Puneet Chandra, founder & CEO of Skootr said: “Demonetization and efforts from the government to restrict black money and its digital policy has boosted the confidence of legitimate businesses. Economic stability and a consistent political environment are directly proportional to business sentiments in the country. I feel this has turned a lot of businesses internationally very positive about India; as a result, we see a lot of traction in the commercial real estate industry.”

He added, “Initially, primary and secondary players in the value chain of resale market in housing realty faced a huge business crunch; but commercial real estate benefitted from it. Given that cash components do not play a huge role in commercial real estate transactions, a bulk of the leasing is done through white money by registered companies. Hence, demonetization did not have any slowdown impact on the commercial real estate segment.

SoCheers CEO

Siddharth Devanani, Co-founder & partner of marketing firm SoCheers said, ''The entire business community took a hit on cashflows during demonetization, which caused a temporary marginal decrease in media buying across the industry. In the months to follow, a lot of money entered the formal economy- this has a positive impact on the advertising industry.”

He added, “Demonetisation gave a nudge to the entire country to increase transacting online and on mobile. This boost was also coupled with a drastic drop in mobile data costs, taking the entire country truly online''.

(Compiled by Sabahat Contractor)
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