Ah! Payment Gateway for Surya Namaskar

Now everyone from Yoga teachers, musicians, fitness instructors and even farmers are taking to online payment in big nos

Pune I New Delhi: A new dawn broke this year for educational trust Prakash Sanstha, which was estab lished along the ghats in Varanasi nearly three decades ago.

The trust, set up by the family of Banaras Hindu University graduate Sanjay Mishra to educate the chil dren of non-resident Indians and foreigners who travel to the holy city, in subjects ranging from San skrit language to the History of Va-rsnasi, switched to an online pay ment system.

Mishra started emailing or texting a payments link to his clients well before they landed in India, provid ing an alternative to the practice of making cash payments, which range from Rs.l,000 to Rs.5,000.

Adds Jitendra Gupta, founder, Citrus Payment Solutions, "We're focused on making cashless payments a household practice. Faasos, a popular brand among the youth, will also help us connect with the kind of users we cater to the best."

Ahmednagar-based Rahul Ghule, who produces jaggery from sugar cane through his manufacturing unit Swadved Agro, for instance, has started using iKaaz - a digital gate way to transfer payments to farmers from whom he sources sugarcane.

"Earlier we incurred significant administration cost as farmers and small merchants only accept cash payments, and we had to send a per son to collect cash or pay the farm ers," said Ghule.

Last year, he decided to switch to collecting payments online. "It has reduced our administration cost by at least 15% so far," said Ghule, who sells jaggery to wholesalers in Mah arashtra.

Fitness gyms and neighbourhood clubs are also adopting digital gate ways. Vivek Devnani, vice-presi dent of Khar Gymkhana in Mumbai, included Citrus as a payment gateway when the establishment re vamped its website this year. "It has increased our monthly collections. Of our 8,000 plus customers, we are seeing around 1,200 of them paying online already," he said, adding, "In tegrating a digital gateway has helped both NRIs and frequently travelling customers who now pay online." Online payments also lead to increased renewals. "It was nor mal for customers to delay monthly subscription payments by weeks," said Satyam Kumar, owner of Health Hub, a gym based in Gur-gaon. Kumar has started using Pay-UMoney for digital payments linked to his savings bank account since this year. "After I installed a payment gateway almost 50% of my customers now pay on time online," said Kumar, 29.

Payment gateways are taking ad vantage of India's organised busi nesses and even offering them a complementary website if they wish to have a gateway

"We even develop a webpage or website if a society, tutor or musi cian does not have a website, to help in collection of payments," said Ni-tin Gupta, co-founder and CEO of PayU India.

As per estimates from the Internet and Mobile Association of India, Rs 1.2 lakh crore worth of digital pay ments were made in India last year, and 3% of these were done using mobile wallets. It is also estimated that by 2020, 30% of digital pay ments will be made using a mobile wallet.

Others such as Paytm are develop ing innovative solutions to attract small business owners from the pool of about 33 million small and medium enterprises in India.

Noida-based Paytm is working on a solution which will do away with the requirement of a swipe machine for the small merchants. It is plan ning a solution that will allow cus tomers to simply 'check-in' on the Paytm app at a restaurant or salon.

"The money will automatically get deducted from a customer's digital wallet after he moves out of the loca tion. For a review, a merchant may also offer a discount, say 10 %, to us ers," said Amit Lakhotia, vice presi dent-business at Paytm.

"We are also working on a QR code application where just by scanning a code, one would be able to buy a product or service through an app," he added. Citrus has developed Project Flight, which allows small merchants and service providers to set up a payment solution in a. few minutes.

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