Banks guard digital payments turf from private m-wallet companies
Banks are offering gift vouchers, Rs cashbacks' and big-ticket gifts like cars to lure more customers to their digital platforms.
As Paytm and Mobikwik aggressively acquire merchants on their platforms after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, banks are trying to make current account holders who run businesses to shift from cash to non-cash modes of transactions.
“We have seen a 120% jump in the number of mobile banking activations and are onboarding about 3,000 merchants daily on EasyPay,” said Anup Bagchi, head of retail at ICICI Bank.
With EasyPay, the bank hopes to reach out to small and medium-sized merchants who cannot afford a bulky terminal.
“The bigger retailers are already using our point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, but for smaller players, EasyPay is a cost-effective solution and we believe that in the next two to three months, EasyPay will exceed our two-lakh-strong PoS base,” said Bagchi.
Banks are offering gift vouchers, ‘cashbacks’ and even big-ticket gifts like cars to lure more customers to their digital platforms.
“Our mobile banking transactions’ volume has increased over 25%, while debit card transaction volume has shown growth of over 150%,” said Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank. “The KayPay app, which is a UPI product, has seen 75,000 downloads in less than three weeks of its launch.”
Banks are also pushing for tie-ups to increase acceptability of their digital solutions. Axis Bank, for instance, has partnered or is in the process of tying up with merchants like PVR, MakeMyTrip, BigBasket and Snapdeal, to promote its Axis Pay UPI. It has also onbarded 30,000 micro merchants like tea stalls and canteens to accept it.
HDFC Bank, one of the largest merchant acquiring banks in the country, has about 1,00,000 merchants on its mobile payments platform PayZapp. According to the bank, it is onboarding about a 1,000 merchants everyday on to its digital platforms.
“With the launch of HDFC Bank SmartHub app for merchants, all our physical merchants will get activated as UPI merchants. Additionally, every new merchant is being trained on UPI to ensure adequate promotion of this newly launched offering,” said Parag Rao, country head - card payment products, merchant acquiring services and marketing, HDFC Bank, which, along with SBI, was a bit late to join the UPI bandwagon.
Yes Bank has opened up its API (Application Programming Interface) for UPI-based transactions. “We have partnered with e-commerce merchants, peer-to-peer and bill payments services, offline mom-and-pop stores and cab aggregators and have seen an increase of 1,000% in UPI transactions since demonetisation,” said Ritesh Pai, country head, digital banking, Yes Bank.