Digital Payments Interviews

Global Fintech Interview with Ketan Patel, CEO at Mswipe Technologies

Global Fintech Interview with Ketan Patel, CEO at Mswipe Technologies

You come from a very enriching background in the technology industry. Please tell us a little bit about your journey and what inspired you to start Mswipe?

Having close to 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial and corporate environments, I have been a banker for over 18 years till I explored the world of startups. At Kotak I was heading some of its key portfolios ranging from private banking, wealth management, composite business solutions, and e-commerce. Further, I also worked with the team in setting up the private banking business for the Kotak Group in the UK. As a CEO of another fintech industry, I understood this space and the kind of potential it can offer to the larger untouched population.

Having a vision of democratizing finance and expanding financial inclusion to the underserved working population, at Mswipe I have been extensively involved in strategy, technology, finance, and risk management to develop innovative products and solutions for a range of customers.  My focus in Mswipe is on two key areas — accelerating operational excellence to provide seamless digital payments and building value-added financial products for MSMEs, including credit facilities, and insurance, among others.

My vision for the company is to become a digital bank focused only on MSMEs and small merchants and provide them with all their digital requirements.

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Tell us a little bit about Mswipe. What does your ideal customer profile (ICP) look like?

Mswipe is a one-stop-shop for merchants that provide all of their digital payment solutions, assists them in securing easy financing, and enables them with taking their businesses online. The company is one of India’s largest independent point-of-sales (POS) merchant acquirer and network providers that have helped merchants and small businesses go digital. Being completely merchant-centric, Mswipe comes with plans and tools to boost MSMEs across the country. Mswipe not only solves the present issues of a merchant but secures their future in the industry. The company caters to all levels of merchants and MSMEs but we particularly want to focus on SMEs with a turnover of Rs 50-200 crore.

For their offline payments, the company has customers like multinational pizza chain Dominos, airlines Vistara, GoFirst, and Spicejet, e-commerce player Flipkart, food delivery app Zomato and ticket booking app BookMyShow, etc. Mswipe offers a range of POS solutions from a palm-size portable device to a Smart POS device that acts as a one-stop business enabler, payment gateway, QR code, Sound & Display based QR, insurance, and loans which makes us a one-stop shop solution for merchants.

Which industries and markets are you currently targeting with your Fintech solutions?

With over a million merchants across multiple payment solutions, Mswipe covers a 10% market share in the POS category for merchants. The company is present across 450 cities and provides its digital solutions across sectors nationwide. In the next few months Mswipe Technologies plans to be operational in other countries including Singapore, Indonesia, and UAE.

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Please tell us a bit about your recent PA licensing and how it would help you close the gaps in the digital payments ecosystem.

Early last month, Mswipe received an in-principle Payment Aggregator license from the RBI. With this license, we can now launch our own online payment gateway. The company will now have the opportunity to grow as a full-stack payments company and lead both, the offline and online payment ecosystems. Obtaining a PA license will allow the company to develop new products and innovate processes, enabling them to make life easier for merchants. In addition to being cost-effective, PA License will catalyse Mswipe’s growth by providing the fuel needed to expand its outreach, offer in-house online and offline solutions to merchants, and further Mswipe’s goal of being a bank for the merchants.

MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian business ecosystem, and the PA License will enable the company to provide them with simpler, affordable, and integrated digital payment solutions. Our aim at Mswipe is to be the one-stop shop and provide merchants with a host of services that help them in their digital transformation journey.

Please tell us how merchants and customers perceive and use digital payments platform differently? How do you make their experiences unique?

Financial services such as credit, insurance and wealth management, can be cost-effective. Access to such affordable finance can help attain financial stability and growth for business owners that are otherwise vulnerable to cash flow volatility and suffer from constrained access to capital to grow.

At Mswipe, the merchants are benefitted with a number of value added services such as :

  • PBL (Pay By Link) – Merchants can collect payment from customers by sending them a payment link from Mswipe Merchant App.The link can be shared on any social media apps or via SMS
  • MQR (Mswipe Quick Response Code) – 2 types of QR codes – Static QR & Dynamic QR. Static QR is a fixed QR sticker or a standee at merchant’s store and Dynamic QR is digital form of QR generated via Mswipe Merchant app by clicking on QR sales
  • MBC (Money Back Card ) – Provided only with Bank Box family products . It is a Prepaid card which can be used in any POS or online for shopping
  • Micro ATM (ATM Express) – Merchant’s Customers can withdraw cash by swiping debit card in POS device. Payment is credited in merchants A/c & cash is given to the customer
  • CAAT (Credit Against Authorized Transaction) – It is a plan which provides merchant Same Day Settlement.
  • Bank EMI – By enabling Bank EMI, merchant can sell a higher value product to the card holder by providing EMI option. Merchant receives the payment of the EMI sale on the next working day in full (MDR and GST will be applicable). Cardholders can buy a higher- end product by paying affordable rate of interest to the bank.
  • Shop Insurance – Shop insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to cover for a shop’s property and its contents within. Shop insurance covers for fire and natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes through our Standard Fire & Special Perils policy
  • Two Wheeler Insurance – Active two wheeler insurance shields the vehicle owner from any unforeseen occurrences like the accident or any serious damage to the motor vehicle
  • Mera Online Store (MOS) – It enables merchants to setup online store in minutes. Shareable store link to accept orders from new and existing base of customers

How have the global digital payment trends changed in the last 2-3 years? Did the pandemic push the digital payments industry to mature quicker than what analysts wished pre-COVID?

Covid was a game changer when it came to digital transformation in the country. The pandemic had a significant impact on the handling and management of cash which in turn brought about a substantial shift in behavioral patterns among the masses and merchants. QR-based payments picked up extensively since retailers and merchants dint have enough change and cash handling becomes a problem during peak hours. Early in the pandemic, consumers used QR codes more frequently for practical things and went contactless for making payments. However, later Consumers grew more comfortable with QR codes for other financial purposes. Customers started noticing an increase in places where QR codes could be used for payments, and felt secure using a QR code to complete a financial transaction. This is where the digital transformation began. Customers started using more and more UPI which later became a habit.

As per a global digital payment trend report, the digital payment landscape is changing rapidly, because of growing enterprises and consumer inclination toward digital transformation, and the penetration of smart phones. As per the report, the increase in technological advancements in smart phones, digital payment cards, and POS at retail terminals are the reasons for the growth of the digital payment industry. Furthermore, the rapid rise in smart phone penetration across emerging economies, primarily in the Asia Pacific region, is expected to impact market growth positively. Contactless payments make the process easier and more convenient for the merchant and customer. With increasing acceptance of real-time customer payment options, innovation around building robust digital infrastructure, next-gen technologies, and digital currencies along with regulation and policies in place are the factors that are fuelling the growth of the digital payment industry globally.

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Your take on the future of Smart Banking operations and how big the industry will become by 2025 for the consumer markets:

Using AI and machine learning technologies in the banking and finance sector can bring significant benefits to the industry. Having a customer chatbot, and automatic robotic processes can help in streamlining paper-heavy processes. India has started witnessing smart banking operations which a lot of banks are undertaking, for example, today consumers do not need to submit papers for their KYC, everything is digital with the introduction of e-kyc and digital signatures. In India, today everything is linked to Aadhar and with it reaching a vast number of people, banking has become easy as an opening account now just takes merely a few days. With the correct AI algorithms in place, banks can now detect potential fraud protecting consumer interest. When it comes to regulatory compliance, banks have created robust technologies and using smart AI assistants, banks monitor consumer behaviour and transactions.

Thank you, Ketan! That was fun and we hope to see you back on globalfintechseries.com soon.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

I believe execution in any business or venture is more important than strategy or theoretical knowledge. In this age of rapid technology and automation, strategy must be backed by implementation and outcome. It makes business sense to do so.

As a Founder/CEO, I have articulated my organisation’s vision — democratizing finance and expanding financial inclusion to the underserved working population.

In my earlier stint I have been responsible for making CASHe a formidable digital lending company with the widest product mix and the largest pan-India customer base. I use my capabilities in strategy, technology, finance and risk management to develop innovative products and solutions for a range of customers.

I have overseen management, business development, operations and the use of emerging technologies that enable us to provide quick and easy credit to subprime or near-prime borrowers through our proprietary, industry-leading AI-based lending platform. So far, have successfully helped build a financial ecosystem model that meets the borrower’s end-to-end financial needs.

Mswipe Technologies Logo

Mswipe is the leading digital payments and financial solutions company supporting the growing merchant community across India. Our product suite consists of various POS terminals, from portable palm-size devices to various Smart POS options, Payment Gateway, Payment Pages, Payment Links, QR Code, and the latest launch Boombox that provides alerts via sound and display to merchants. Mswipe is known for launching multiple industry-first products. Further to enable growth, we provide instant digital loans to merchants under the brand Mcapital. Mcapital is the lending arm and a fully owned subsidiary of Mswipe Technologies. Mswipe aims to provide holistic and simple tech-led financial solutions to merchants.

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