Finance

Covid-19 pandemic considerably accelerated adoption of digital payments in India: RBP Finivis

Sam Gupta, Director & CEO, RBP Finivis

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, fintechs have been at the forefront of India’s financial inclusion efforts. Among the new crop of fintechs in the country, Panchkula-based RBP Finivis is rapidly expanding its footprint. In an interaction with Financial Express (Online), its director & chief executive officer Sam Gupta shared his views on Covid-19’s impact on the fintech industry, the importance of financial inclusion, and RBP Finivis’ growth and expansion plans. Edited excerpts:

India has a strong banking system. Why do you think fintechs are crucial for financial inclusion in India?
The implementation of financial inclusion held in the 1960s kept an eye on the economic development in India with the nationalisation of banks. The regulator advised all banks to include financial inclusion in their business outreach. Since then, its progress was monitored by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through the implementation of Financial Inclusion Plans (FIP) in terms of predetermined parameters. The key role of fintechs in financial inclusion is by making changes in the traditional business model of banks and financial institutions; it can deliver financial products and services to the financially excluded population in a more accountable and efficient manner in the least possible time.

How has Covid-19 impacted the Indian fintech industry and your business?
The pandemic has considerably accelerated the adoption of digital payments, and seen lending solutions grow at a breakneck speed, resulting in the mass inclusion of factions of the society that were ill-served by traditional financial methods. The usage of digital and contactless payments surged during the pandemic, as people opted for safer ways to transact financially. Our business and employees have been impacted, too, by the pandemic. In terms of business, we have seen more digital transactions during this period.

Amid the pandemic, when do you see revival in the fintech industry?

We do not see the pandemic as a lost opportunity; rather it has generated unexpected revenues that were never imagined. The fintech industry has seen a steep rise in the number of transactions amid the lockdown. The year 2020 is seen to be a boom for the industry and things are happening at a fast pace. To an extent, the pandemic has proved beneficial for the fintech industry players to execute their plans and try to maximise reach with their offerings.

There are already established players like Paytm and PhonePe, etc. present in the Indian fintech market. What makes RBP Finivis different from others?

Our unique offering in the market for the B2C segment is a key differentiator from other existing players. We have a qualified technology team with 10 years of experience. Digital India success is our main mantra which we leverage in our services and offerings. The launch of MEGO will be path-breaking in the fintech industry. And, an important factor that the products such as AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment system) and Micro ATMs are not operated by Paytm and PhonePe like brands.

What is MEGO Pay ATM? How is it different from other bank ATMs?
MEGO conceptualises the key digital offering of RBP Finivis. Micro ATM is one of the core components of our offerings. The device includes a card reader with features of deposit, balance inquiry, and cash withdrawal from all bank debit cards. It is a mini version of large ATMs with a POS (point of sales) terminal. Micro ATM facilitates the feature of a swipe machine to connect with the core banking system. With our micro ATM services also known as mini ATM services in India, we are determined to change a common man’s life.

What is your present market share and who are your competitors in the market?
Our market share is minimal at present. By 2021-end and 2022 we would have a percentage in the overall market share as we operate in both B2B and B2c segments. Our competitors are Paytm, GooglePay, Mobikwik, and PhonePe.

How many states/markets do you have a presence in now? Any expansion plan?

We are currently based out of Panchkula (Haryana) and have a research team operating from Kolkata. We have plans to expand our branches and services to a number of states which include Delhi NCR, Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, and Haryana.

What is the size of your customer base, and its growth rate?
With the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) which will increase the efficiency of digital payments, and during the pandemic, the trend has seen an immense upsurge in terms of usage of it (digital payments). It will change the complete dimensions of the Indian economy. Our target segments are school and college students, unemployed youth, rural people, and consumers who are market smart and look for discounts and offers in their spending. In our B2C offerings, we provide unique and advanced technology-enabled features to our consumers to redeem their offers and cash backs via web app and cards. Bringing digital banking to rural India is our main target to achieve by acquiring 15% of the rural subscribers base.

Where do you see RBP Finivis in the next two years, in terms of company size (number of employees), revenue, and growth?

We are driving on 12% steep growth and plan to accelerate it in the second half of the year. In the next two years, we are aiming to enroll 500+ employees on the payroll. And in terms of growth, we are considerably aiming at a gross turnover of Rs 4,000 crore in 2021 and Rs 9,000 crore in 2022.

When are you expecting to break even?

We expect our break-even by July 2022 with a turnover of over Rs 200 crore. We could have achieved break-even much earlier but due to Covid-19 things got slow after the lockdown.

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