Contactless payments, digital loans make kiranas open doors to fintech
The coronavirus pandemic might help achieve India’s stated goals of creating a less-cash economy and enhancing financial inclusion. Shoppers at even neighbourhood stores now want contactless digital payments, and that demand dovetails with what lenders want in lieu of working capital loans – digital invoices and online transaction records.
Top fintech companies are, therefore, rushing to tap into this new consumer trend, with several of them offering digital solutions to small merchants. These range from instant loans to digital billing to even geotagging, as companies believe the merchant digitization business will boom when the lockdown eases.
Leading UPI player PhonePe, for example, has introduced new features on its popular mobile application that allows customers to track live the shops open in their vicinity. The Walmart-owned payment firm has also provided an option to make remote payments – without visiting the shops – directly from the app.
Paytm, PhonePe and BharatPe have either launched or have announced small ticket credit to users. Whatsapp Pay has become the latest entrant to the club, with the company announcing its ambitions to lend in a filing with local regulators.