Our lessons from the Covid 19 crisis: Rajeev Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Innoviti Payment Solutions- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Rajeev Agrawal, Founder & CEO, Innoviti Payment Solutions, shares his thoughts on how his firm has ensured business continuity in the midst of the crisis
To ensure business continuity in the time of all employees having to work remotely we had taken a few measures. To begin with, we had conducted a few dry runs of work from home to ensure there are no challenges that might arise later on. We also set up network fallbacks and allowed our employees to have access to all organization tools remotely. This has helped us conduct our business seamlessly.
We have faced a few challenges when it comes to discipline and log in times. There’s also the issue of tracking activities that have been done for the day.
Lessons learntThroughout the last two weeks, we have learned that a daily task based scheduling works very well, sometimes it’s even more productive than coming to the office. Also, offering employees the choice and flexibility of time actually allows a longer overlap.
We are using a host of tools that allows seamless collaboration across locations and teams. Zoom and audio conferencing have been especially helpful to conduct meetings and huddles. We are also using cloud tools such as SFA and Freshdesk to ensure smooth functioning.
Working from home has been quite efficient. We always had a remote working policy but it was implemented only on exception, but now we can be more liberal. We have also noticed that our people are also less tired and more enthusiastic to work due to the travel time being cut down.

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What South Africans Think of Digital Payment Methods | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Innovation Village.

As digitization makes its way into Africa across sectors and industries, digital payment methods are being offered as safe and convenient alternatives to traditional options.
Borderless Access conducted a study across South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria to explore the uptake of digital payment methods, including e-wallets, money payment apps, and mobile money transfer.
It is important to note that this study was conducted just before the lockdown was implemented in any of these countries, the results indicate a long term trend, rather than being skewed by the unusual spending behaviour of the past few weeks.
Non-bank digital methods are still under-utilised in South Africa

Not surprisingly, the most common forms of payment amongst LSM 4-10 South Africans are credit/debit cards and cash, with three-quarters of people also using online banking and banking apps. Other (non-bank) apps and mobile money are only used by 19% of the population, and 29% claim to use other forms of e-wallet.
South Africans use banking apps mainly to transfer money within the country and to pay utilities or bills. Non-banking apps are used much less, and predominantly for shopping online. Likewise, mobile money is used by a very small percentage of the population, and mostly for in-store purchases or international money transfers.
The only non-bank digital option where South Africans show a higher incidence than other countries is e-wallet usage. This method is used for transferring money (both locally and across borders) as well as for online purchases.
The only mobile method to see an increase in South Africa in the past year is mobile bank apps, with 53% more people using these than before. Non-bank digital options, which were already not high, have declined in the past year.
Online banking has seen an increase in local usage, while the use of cash has decreased. This trend is driven primarily by convenience, followed by safety concerns over carrying cash.
Banks in South Africa hold high levels of trust through heritage
South African consumers have a high level of trust in their banks. Perceiving them as safe and secure, much more than they do the various mobile money providers. In fact, the only three payment app services that South Africans claim to use at all are Flutterwave, Virgin Money Spot and the Karri/Fundi apps for school payments.
The main reason people are not using payment apps is that they are concerned about security in integrating these apps with their bank accounts. People have high levels of trust in their banks but low levels of trust in how mobile money apps link to them. Local banks have gained trust through heritage and reputation, and South Africans want to see more assurance from other digital options that they can provide the same.
This is vastly different in the other African countries surveyed, where consumers were introduced to mobile money apps and digital banking at similar times, thereby gaining similar levels of trust in them.
Another reason why South Africans choose not to use non-bank digital options is that they are perceived as not being widely accepted, which naturally lowers their appeal.
Mobile apps are perceived to be safe IF links to banks are trustworthy
Unpacking the security issue further, we see that South Africans feel safe with their banks and banking apps, but not with the process of linking mobile apps to their bank accounts. However, they perceive mobile apps to offer a high level of security if assured that bank accounts can be securely linked.
This indicates an opportunity for all non-bank digital options to instil a sense of security in consumers about the process of linking to their bank accounts, possibly partnering with banks or leveraging off the inherent trust in them.
A digital future?
At this stage, there is still a very low claimed likelihood of adoption of digital payment methods in the next year. One way in which this may change is with the increased focus of targeting South Africa’s unbanked population, who have a higher propensity towards adoption. Another is of course due to new consumer behaviour patterns post-lockdown, as we see the country leapfrogging to embrace digital alternatives across sectors.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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EFT Payment Option Introduced By PayU Increases Range of Offline-to-Online Solutions for Merchants – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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PayU, India’s leading online payment solutions provider, introduces the EFT payment option, allowing merchants to offer a wider variety of payment options for their customers.  Through EFT, PayU offers merchants an outreach to those customers who browse online, but lack access or are reluctant to engage in digital payments. This payment solution caters to organizations that require fast and seamless solutions for high-value transactions but are unwilling to transact online. The new offering from PayU will help merchants who would like to make inroads in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and towns, where customers’ preferred mode of payment transactions is through banks.
Created to cater to high-value transactions, a customer can use the NEFT/RTGS option listed on the merchant’s checkout page to generate a one-time use challan to initiate the transaction. The customer can subsequently visit their bank’s branch to complete the payment. Customers also have the option of adding bank account details from the challan as a beneficiary and use net banking/mobile banking app to settle the payment. EFT makes transactions more seamless for merchants and allows them to customize challans, giving them greater flexibility with respect to transactions. PayU, as the aggregator, ensures that the merchant receives real-time transaction success updates and offers instant refunds in case of erroneous entry of information. PayU also creates an aggregated settlement report along with reconciliation and refunds reports for all modes of payments including NEFT/RTGS, thus eliminating the need for manual reconciliation.
Commenting on the new offering, Alim Khan, Senior Vice-President of Compulsive Businesses, PayU India, said “There is a large segment of the population who are comfortable browsing online but are reluctant while making online payments, and several organizations which don’t authorize their employees to initiate payments digitally. We are consistently working towards building innovative solutions that not only enhance our merchants’ experience but also help them grow their business. Through this solution, we have enabled merchants to reach out to customers and corporations who require semi-online solutions for payments. We expect this will have great application in the education, government payments and utility sectors. It is one step closer towards building an economy where the populace is less dependent on physical cash.”
While rural India saw a 45% growth in internet usage in 2019, the lack of digital financial literacy and hesitation to adopt digital payments has meant that customers are engaging less with merchant offerings. By using PayU’s EFT payment option, these customers can access the wide variety of services offered by merchants on their online platform.

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Customers Are More Concerned About Payment Frauds Due To COVID- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Almost half of Indian consumers (47%) are more concerned about digital payments fraud now than when the novel coronavirus first emerged, according to a new study conducted by YouGov and ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions. When using digital payment methods, 28 percent of respondents are also now exercising greater caution.
 If impacted by fraud, the majority (60%) of respondents would first call their bank to block their account, indicating that — during this time of heightened awareness — consumers consider their bank the first line of defense. Twelve percent would first report fraud activity to police or a cybercrime unit, while a mere 4 percent would turn to public social media channels first.
 Efforts by Indian authorities to encourage contactless digital payments over cash as a hygiene measure are resonating with consumers — one-third (32%) have increased their usage of digital payments (credit and debit card, mobile wallet and other UPI-based payment methods) due to the push from NPCI, aimed at helping curb the spread of COVID-19. However, 1 in 10 respondents reported using cash more frequently now.
 “The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic provides another opportunity for fraudsters to dupe unsuspecting consumers,” said Kaushik Roy, vice president & country leader – South Asia, ACI Worldwide. “However, it is encouraging that consumers are showing heightened awareness of digital payments fraud and a willingness to adapt behaviors. It appears that anti-fraud and security measures implemented by banks are also widely acknowledged and understood, and that banks are still seen as the trusted source of support against fraud.”
 Respondents expressed a high level of familiarity with assorted anti-fraud and security measures deployed by their bank or financial institution.

75 percent recognize one-time password (OTP) as a key anti-fraud mechanism deployed by their bank
66 percent utilize SMS/email notifications on their phone
55 percent are aware of two-factor authentication as a security measure

 “Continued vigilance on the part of banks and their customers is paramount, as fraudsters are constantly evolving their methods — whether its harnessing new technology or adapting ‘social engineering’ tactics — to exploit the disruption,” continued Roy. “Banks can help their customers through both active customer communication and education around fraud risks, as well as taking an enterprise-level, cross-channel approach to fraud prevention.”
 Other key findings and trends:
 Payment behaviors and spending patterns

Adoption of digital payments is widespread, with 75 percent using a digital payment method at least once a week and 44 percent using one almost daily.
Only 3 percent have never utilized a digital payment method. Only 7 percent cited inconvenience (compared to cash) as a major concern when it comes to digital payments.
Limited merchant acceptance was identified as a top concern by only 19 percent (compared to 23% in a similar survey conducted by ACI in October 2019).

 Fraud and payments security

Nearly one third (31%) have been a recent victim of card or digital payments fraud or know someone among their immediate family or friends who has. 17 percent of those occurrences have been within the last month.
Vulnerability to fraud remains the biggest consumer concern when it comes to digital transactions (54%), followed by risk of failed transactions (42%). Insufficient internet connectivity and concerns about data privacy were also cited as significant concerns, by 38 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
When asked about digital payment fraud risks, fake apps and websites are the biggest, according to 52 percent of respondents, followed by compromised password/credential information (43%) and spyware/malware (39%).
Card cloning is the most common concern when it comes to debit or credit card fraud, with 1 in 3 (29%) seeing this is as the biggest risk. Approximately 1 in 5 cited stolen/lost cards (22%) or eCommerce/mobile channel fraud (21%) as their top card fraud threat.

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FSS and Fair Play Partner to Bring Online Payment Acquiring Services to the Czech Republic- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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FSS Technologies, a global payments products and solutions provider and payment processor, announced a collaboration with Fairplay Pay s.r.o. one of the Czech Republic’s newest payments innovators specializing in fair, fast and secure SEPA and domestic transactions for its full-stack online Acquiring suite. Under the umbrella of the partnership, Fair Play will deploy the FSS Payment Gateway and Merchant Hub for secure, online payment processing and transaction settlement. 
FSS will host the Payment Gateway and Merchant on FSSNeT, its global payment processing center, enabling Fair Play to benefit from an easily deployable, scalable, and secure payments infrastructure. FSS will assume a single mantle of accountability for authorization, processing, clearing and settlement of e-Commerce transactions. 
FSS full-stack Online Acquiring suite provides the foundation to improve business performance via the crafting of differentiated merchant-centric propositions. The FSS Payment Gateway offers a platform for ubiquitous payment acceptance via support for a range of alternate non-card payment methods to ensure an optimized payment set-up that accounts for local transacting habits for higher sales conversion. This is augmented by merchant lifecycle management capabilities and added value services including sophisticated 3DS 2.0 authentication capabilities, real-time fraud prevention and advanced analytics for improved business decision making. 
Commenting on the collaboration, Haresh Hemrajani, Head of FSS Europe, UK and America’s, said: “Online commerce is a fast-growing digital payments segment in Europe. We are excited to be working alongside Fair Play to support its expansion plans in the online acquiring space. Our unique SaaS model enables Fair Play to improve speed to market, deliver innovative online payment services to merchants and rapidly penetrate new segments.”
Commenting on the partnership, Dajnis Vasiljevs, Head of the Board, Fair Play, said: “As a new entrant it is critical that we earn the trust of our merchants. The collaboration with FSS enables us to leverage its globally trusted Payment Gateway and work with a partner who understands our business. As the pace of growth accelerates in the coming months, FSS will help us to innovate and scale at speed in order to fully capitalize on market opportunities.”    
FSS Payment Gateway supports core payment processing and makes it easy for merchants to update their payment platforms by providing out-of-the-box integration capabilities. In addition, FSS is bringing a range of payment acceptance options for small and medium merchants including Link-based payments Invoice-based Payments and Pay Buttons. Built-in risk monitoring and fraud detection capabilities including support for 3DS 2.0 authentication reduces chargebacks and lowers fraud rates. 
FSS Merchant, simplifies operations by consolidating critical merchant functions onto a single platform. This includes merchant onboarding, risk management, accounting and settlement across POS, Internet, and mobile channels. The solution offers acquiring acquirers the flexibility to adopt a progressive approach and integrate with a single channel and seamlessly add-on channels to meet evolving business demands. 
With FSS unique SaaS model, Fair Play benefits from high scalability, security and compliance, seamless upgrades, and round-the-clock monitoring and maintenance to deliver an assured quality of service to merchants. 

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Facebook, three Indonesian firms in early talks for mobile payment approval – regulator – Finance – Software – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Three Indonesian digital fintech firms are working with Facebook Inc to apply for regulatory approval to launch mobile payments in the country, an official at the financial regulator said.
The plan, if approved, could be among the first such service under the social media firm’s unified payment service Facebook Pay it unveiled in November, through which users across its various platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram can make payments without exiting the app.
Bank Indonesia assistant governor Filianingsih Hendarta, who heads Payment system policy, told Reuters that three local firms had approached the regulator to ask about tentative approval for a payments partnership with Facebook.
“So far no one submitted the formal application. Some of them just came to discuss during the consultative meeting with BI (Bank Indonesia),” Hendarta said.
She said the three e-wallet operators are Indonesian ride hailing firm Gojek’s GoPay, fintech startup OVO, which is owned by Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group and is also backed by Singapore-based riding hailing firm Grab, and state-backed LinkAja.
Four sources with knowledge of the matter said Facebook wants to capitalize on the Indonesian market and is preparing for regulatory approval in the country.
Reuters reported in August that Facebook’s WhatsApp had been in talks with these firms to launch digital payment services in Indonesia.
A spokeswoman for Facebook said the company was seeking to bring digital payments to more countries and believed “digital payments will… open up extraordinary opportunities for businesses to grow.”
“We are in conversations with partners in Indonesia, however the discussions are ongoing and we do not have anything further to share at this stage,” she added.
OVO CEO Jason Thompson said: “As an open ecosystem platform, we’re always seeking new partnerships to increase cashless transactions… including with Facebook.”
Gojek declined to comment. LinkAja was not immediately available for comment.
Facebook is keen to accelerate its expansion in Southeast Asia. Indonesia, home to 260 million people and the region’s largest economy, is one of the largest markets globally for Facebook and WhatsApp, with over 100 million users.
Facebook is also in separate talks to partner with Gojek, which counts Alphabet’s Google and Chinese e-commerce JD.com among its backers, two sources said.
“The talks could lead either to a strategic partnership, a collaboration, or an investment,” one person with knowledge of the matter said.
The talks, which predate the coronavirus outbreak, are at an early stage.
Elsewhere in Asia, Facebook has held talks to buy a multi billion dollar stake in Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd’s telecom unit, media reports said.
Gojek declined to comment. Facebook referred Reuters to its general statement.
Having evolved from a ride-hailing service founded in 2010 to a one-stop app offering online payments, food ordering and even massage services, Gojek is valued at US$10 billion.

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Magecart Hackers Inject iFrame Skimmers in 19 Sites to Steal Payment Data – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Cybersecurity researchers today uncovered an ongoing new Magecart skimmer campaign that so far has successfully compromised at least 19 different e-commerce websites to steal payment card details of their customers.
According to a report published today and shared with The Hacker News, RiskIQ researchers spotted a new digital skimmer, dubbed “MakeFrame,” that injects HTML iframes into web-pages to phish payment data.
MakeFrame attacks have been attributed to Magecart Group 7 for its approach of using the compromised sites to host the skimming code, load the skimmer on other compromised websites, and siphoned off the stolen data.
Magecart attacks usually involve bad actors compromising a company’s online store to siphon credit card numbers and account details of users who’re making purchases on the infected site by placing malicious JavaScript skimmers on payment forms.

It’s the latest in a series of attacks by Magecart, an umbrella term for eight different hacking groups, all of which are focused on stealing credit card numbers for financial gain.
Hackers associated with Magecart tactics have hit many high profile websites in the past few years, including NutriBullet, Olympics ticket reselling websites, Macy’s, Ticketmaster, British Airways, consumer electronics giant Newegg, and many other e-commerce platforms.
RiskIQ had said it took just 22 lines of JavaScript code infection for the attackers to gain real-time access to the sensitive data in question.

Using Obfuscation to Avoid Detection

The new MakeFrame Skimmer code, a blob of the hex-encoded array of strings and obfuscated code, is included between benign code to escape detection, RiskIQ researchers said.
But in a twist, the code is impossible to be deobfuscated due to a check (_0x5cc230[‘removeCookie’]) that ensures it is not altered. When this check passes, the skimmer code is reconstructed by decoding the obfuscated strings.

Once the skimmer is added on the victim site, MakeFrame also has provisions to emulate the payment method, use iframes to create a payment form, detect the data entered into the fake payment form upon pressing of the “submit” button, and exfiltrate the card information in the form ‘.php’ files to another compromised domain (piscinasecologicas dot com).
“This method of exfiltration is the same as that used by Magecart Group 7, sending stolen data as .php files to other compromised sites for exfiltration,” RiskIQ said.
“Each compromised site used for data exfil has also been injected with a skimmer and has been used to host skimming code loaded on other victim sites as well.”

Stating that three distinct versions of this skimmer with varying levels of obfuscation have been identified, RiskIQ said each of the affected websites is a small or medium-sized business.

Increasing prevalence of Magecart attacks

Although spotted in the wild since 2010, this kind of intrusion — dubbed Magecart attack because of the threat actors’ initial preference for Magento e-commerce platform to gather illicit card data — has intensified over the last few years.
“Magecart is a rapidly growing cybercrime syndicate comprised of dozens of subgroups that specialize in cyberattacks involving digital credit card theft,” RiskIQ previously noted in its report on the Magecart actors.

In addition, the actors behind these compromises have automated the process of compromising websites with skimmers by actively scanning for misconfigured Amazon S3 buckets.
The recent wave of e-skimming attacks has grown so widespread — affecting over 18,000 domains — that it led the FBI to issue a warning about the emerging cyber threat and urging businesses to erect sufficient security barriers to protect themselves.
The intelligence agency, in an advisory posted last month, recommended that companies keep their software up-to-date, enable multi-factor authentication, segregate critical network infrastructure, and watch out for phishing attacks.
“This latest skimmer from Group 7 is an illustration of their continued evolution, honing tried and true techniques and developing new ones all the time,” RiskIQ concluded.
“They are not alone in their endeavors to improve, persist, and expand their reach. RiskIQ data shows Magecart attacks have grown 20 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With many homebound people forced to purchase what they need online, the digital skimming threat to e-commerce is as pronounced as ever.”

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Commonwealth Bank, Westpac rush to pause electronic payment fees – Finance – Hardware – Networking- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac have moved to temporarily scrap lucrative merchant service fees for electronic card payments in an attempt to stop more businesses shutting their doors, paving the way for a major rethink around how payments are clipped by institutions.
It was announced by CBA chief executive Matt Comyn and the head of Westpac’s business bank, Guil Lima – the bank is yet to appoint a new chief executive – in separate statements on COVID relief packages to flow from today as the government continues to discourage cash payments.
The hardcore steering of consumers away from cash and towards contactless or ‘tap’ payments by the government had been looming as a potential public relations disaster for banks because the sudden shift out of cash coupled with panic buying at supermarkets risked delivering a fee windfall at the direct expense of merchants.
According to Comyn, around 70,000 small businesses will have their merchant fees automatically waived.
Notably, CBA is also handing out terminal rental fee waivers to larger businesses that ask for them, a move that will bring some relief to retailers that have been forced into high street hibernation.
“Over the last fortnight we announced a number of measures to support our small business and retail customers through this very challenging period,” Comyn said.
“It has become apparent over the last week that medium-sized and larger businesses will also need significant support.”
Westpac says it is “refunding the merchant terminal rental fee for up to three months” with businesses told to either contact their relationship manager or apply online.
The announcement of the fee waivers came on the same day as the Australian Banking Association announced a cross-industry credit relief package made possible by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission lifting regular controls on banks collaborating.
What’s less clear however is whether multinational payments giants Mastercard and Visa will also pass on fee relief or just leave it to the banks, who issue their cards and then collect hefty interchange fees through a convoluted series of merchant classifications and card type.
Visa and Mastercard have doggedly defended the operation of the interchange fee system that, like buy-now pay-later, extracts income from merchants by charging them to accept card payments, either physically or online.
At the same time merchants are also forced to pick up the bulk of the losses for online card fraud, even thought the banks and multinational payments schemes often own the networks and systems that are exploited.
The other time bomb sitting in the mix of COVID-19 relief measures is the rapid rise of debit payments and their displacement of credit cards in the market.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest study of consumer payments made using debit rocketed from 30 percent to 44 percent in terms of the share of the number of payments made below $9,999 between 2016 and 2019.
The graph below also illustrates the shifting mix.

The same study put credit cards falling from 22 percent to 19 percent across the same period, with cash dropping from 37 percent to 27 percent.
The problem for merchants, and now banks, is that because of the incentive structures put in place when contactless payments were first rolled out, most tap payments now route by default across Mastercard and Visa’s premium rails rather than across the cheaper eftpos network.
The tap-and-go hegemony of the two global card schemes has caused serious concerns at the RBA for years, especially its propensity to increase the cost of accepting card and online payments by merchants.
To address the issue, the RBA introduced reforms known as ‘least cost routing’ or ‘merchant choice routing’ where businesses got to choose what rails their payments rode on and thus could control the fee clip better – providing their bank actually offered them the choice, which they were meant to do.
The sluggishness of some banks to roll out and promote this drew uncharacteristically direct criticism from RBA governor Philip Lowe in December, statements that came as the RBA went to the now-postponed consultation on the review payments system, including stronger mandates for least cost routing.
With the review now postponed, cash on the nose and consumers being told to tap as the default, there’s now a serious question as to whether a more swiftly implemented mandate to bring medium term relief to merchants beyond the 90-day electronic payment fee holiday isn’t now a realistic option.

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PhonePe Launches One-Click Payment With Visa- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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PhonePe today announced that it has become the first digital payments platform to launch Visa Safe Click, a secure and hassle-free, one-click card payment feature on its platform in partnership with Visa, the global leader in payments technology. In line with RBI’s regulations that allow card networks to authenticate transactions up to Rs. 2000, this launch will enable Visa debit and credit cardholders to make quick, frictionless payments on the PhonePe platform. Visa Safe Click will help enrolled users make secure payments for amounts up to INR 2,000 without having to enter an OTP or CVV.
Users with Visa debit or credit cards will have the option on the PhonePe app to activate the new payment feature through a one-time validation process to register their card. Users can then carry out transactions on recharges, bill payments, switch platform and many more use cases on the PhonePe app without having to enter an OTP or CVV for every subsequent transaction.
Speaking on the launch, Hemant Gala, VP – Payments & Financial Services, PhonePe said, “PhonePe is one of the largest payment platforms in India and it’s been our constant endeavour to launch seamless payment solutions to simplify users’ payment journeys. With millions of Visa cards saved on the PhonePe platform, the launch of ‘Visa Safe Click’ will help our customers experience single click seamless payments on the PhonePe app and at our merchant partners. We expect PhonePe’s network of over 10 million merchants to benefit from higher success rates and faster turn-around times with this one-click payment experience.”
Commenting on the launch, Shailesh Paul, Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, India and South Asia, India and South Asia, Visa said, “Indian customers are increasingly turning to purchase goods and services online, driving e-commerce to reach $225 billion (estimated) by 2022 and platforms such as PhonePe help drive this convenience. World over, this kind of growth is enabled when e-commerce is made secure and friction-free and Visa Safe Click aims to make the e-commerce payment experience faster, frictionless and secure. We’re excited to enable quicker and safer payments for Visa users on the PhonePe app, improving the customer experience and providing users more time to explore the app.”
PhonePe is headquartered in Bengaluru and has over 200 million registered users on its platform. The platform allows users to send money to each other and also pay bills.

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“India Is At The Forefront Of Payment Innovations, With UPI And Bharat QR”- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Just last month, Express Computer has reported that there were shufflings happening at the PayU office. This was when Amrish Rau, the head of PayU India’s fintech investments and partnerships had put down his papers.
Express Computer got in touch with PayU’s Mohit Gopal, Senior Vice President and Strategy Head, PayU India, to gauge how technology has been determining their success, and also what do their long term milestones look like.
Also Read:
Amrish Rau Has Quit PayU India
Edited excerpts:
With a lot of changes in the hierarchy, what does the immediate milestone of PayU look like?
As we enter the next phase of growth for our business, the appointment of new leaders in our executive team will enable us to deliver a stellar Fintech experience that meets the demands of a changing market which is rich with opportunity. Our leaders bring in the right mix of energy and experience to drive businesses, innovation, & operations. Our immediate milestone is to scale up the digital payments by capturing newer segments across channels (online/offline) and to provide value-added services for our merchant partners. We are also highly focussed on growing our credit business. These will help us strengthen our position as the market leader.
Being a digital and fintech player, how has technology been shaping and redefining business for PayU?
PayU has been one of the early entrants in the fintech space and we have been constantly reinventing ourselves to take new payment technologies to the market. We work closely with all ecosystem players – customers or merchants, banks, regulators, payment networks and other new-age start-ups to build the best technology products to grow the industry and solve some key business problems for our partners.  Our acquisitions, like Wibmo and PaySense, are also strategically planned to build a technologically superior stack in payments and lending and to drive more value to our partners. We are quick to adapt to changes in the ecosystem – be it wallets, UPI, QR codes; we continuously re-look at our go-to-market strategies and core product stack to not only meet demand but also drive innovations. 
Do you think India has to strive hard to implement all the technical advances with every passing day?
India is at the forefront of payment innovations – especially with platforms like UPI and Bharat QR. Rapid adoption, digital push by the government and technology innovations are making the ecosystem progressive and dynamic. While we have attained some reach, we have a long way to go with a huge untouched market with gaps in infrastructure, risks, etc. For example, while demonetization was extremely beneficial in shifting customer behaviour towards using digital modes of payment, merchants did not have the required systems and networks in place to get going immediately. As a result, there was a period of chaos. Due to our size and limitations, we have to work really hard to ensure that all innovations are accessible by everyone. There are various start-ups working in this space to address demand and even the RBI is coming up with Digital Payments Index (DPI), that will share a relatively accurate picture of the penetration of various digital payment modes across India. This should help us identify the gaps in implementation and adoption of digital technologies and hence address them sustainably.  
How is PayU catering to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, where the audience is yet not well equipped?
Mobile & data penetration is at an all-time high across the country including tier 2 and tier 3 cities. In fact, these cities are growing at a faster rate. While the customer is becoming more tech savvy and the reach of online payments is also growing rapidly, the behaviour shift is yet to happen. Adoption of online payments is relatively slower, largely due to consumer preference of buying at stores which they trust and where they can experience products/services. While we provide all online solutions to reach these audience, we are also rapidly scaling our offline payments business that includes integrated POS machines, QR based payments, link and pay etc. to close the gap.          
Amid so many other players in the market, how is PayU faring differently?
We are already the most scalable and reliable technology platform in the country right now, preferred by a large number of our partners across industry verticals. We are not complacent of our position in the market and continuously work with our partners to understand their needs and changes in the ecosystem to build newer and better products. Our strategic partnerships and acquisitions are also helping us drive more value for partners & deliver excellence. All this helps us build a trusted and long-lasting relationship with partners.   
What does PayU’s further scaling plans look like?
We plan to leverage our partnership with Wibmo to enhance our payments platform and with PaySense to scale our credit business. We are also looking to grow our offline business to become a one-stop payments provider for merchant across all channels. This is a part of our larger vision to develop a full Fintech ecosystem in India. From a market perspective, we are looking to partner more with the Government and Compulsive businesses since this is where the masses need to be engaged for digital payments. On the organization side, we are looking to create more diversity in workforce to bring in fresh ideas and encourage innovation at every step of the work, be it product development, productivity or go-to-market strategies.  
Lastly, what role do you see technology playing in India 5 years down the line?
Firstly, five years is a long time in technology. Technology is already an integral part of our lives and in next 2-3 years, it stands a chance to change a lot of aspects for payments and lending. We will soon see more adoption of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning in various aspects of technology – be it smart processing of transactions or making credit available to the right set of customers who really need it or simply understanding customers more to serve them right.  We will see core payments slowly becoming hygiene factors and companies focusing on providing better, faster and more effortless payment experiences. Payment form factors like contactless transactions, biometric authentication, face & touch recognition will become part of daily routine to make experience seamless with greater security. When it comes to fintech, India is certainly moving faster than the rest of the world and these are truly exciting times for all of us. Finally, we will see technology essentially becoming a smart invisible layer powering all financial services. 
 

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