Ezeepay, India’s leading fintech start-up, was launched in August 2018 to push financial inclusion and promote digital transactions in rural and semi-urban areas. To fulfill this aim, Ezeepay launched Doorstep Digital Services, Pan India. Ezeepay started with comprehensive payment solutions for businesses that offer mobile recharge, DTH recharge, bill payments, cash withdrawal, and AEPS. The Ezeepay partners offer all these services.
Apart from the DDS services, Ezeepay also provides small group loans only to women to help them set up their businesses. The group should of minimum 10 women and the loan amount varies from 10k to a maximum of 25k per woman. The repayment time of the same is on the weekly basis. This is a way to how Ezeepay is helping in women’s empowerment in the rural areas. Ezeepay DDS (Doorstep Digital Services) brings the bank to the doorstep of people living in villages. With features including cash deposit, Cash Withdrawl, Micro ATMs, insurance, Tax filing, GST, and Cash collection, DDS makes banking and digital services approachable to those who earlier found it challenging to avail these services. Doorstep Digital Services caters to all women and men above 45+ years of age and the differently-abled, including the visually impaired. Digital Empowering of rural India has become imperative due to the current COVID scenario. Ezeepay’s DDS will be a positive contributing factor in this initiative.
Shams Tabrej, Financial Expert and Founder Ezeepay in an exclusive chat with Medianews4U talk about the reason to launch Ezeepay, the response from the rural markets, and much more…
When was Ezeepay launched, and what was the strategy behind launching such an initiative?
Ezeepay was launched on 15th August 2018. As I belong to a small village of Bihar, where people are mainly either farmers or are working on daily wages basis. In rural areas, there is mostly one Gramin bank. During demonetization, people had to stand in a long queue to get cash. Standing in such long queues meant loss of their per day income, which was a big loss to them. When I witnessed this problem, I felt the need to address the issue of cash and banking in rural India that is how I started with Ezeepay with a mission to take banking to every rural household and solve the issue of banking in rural areas across the country.
This pandemic and lockdown saw a surge in digital payments across demographics and geographies. How did EzeePay capitalize on this?
The pandemic has surely increased the number of digital payments across the country. We also witnessed a steep growth in the number of transactions. Also, there has been an increase in the number of app downloads. With this success of ours across the north market, we are now planning our expansion in the south market. We have successfully been able to reach out to maximum pincodes in rural areas through our services.
What are Micro ATMs and how does it function in villages and rural India?
Micro ATMs are basically portable and easy to carry devices that allow banking transactions such as cash deposits, withdrawal, and funds transfer using debit or RuPay cards. Micro-ATMs confirm the customer’s identity through Aadhar which has been linked to their bank accounts. In rural India, it is proving to be very effective and its demand is increasing day by day. All the consumers need to call on the toll-free number of ezeepay, verify their identity through a telephone call by giving some basic details. Within 25 minutes the ezeepay agent will reach their doorstep, and do further verification through the thumb scanner and retina scanner. Once the account is verified they can carry on with their banking service. The main reason for the success of Micro-ATM in rural India is that it saves their time standing in a long queue.
What are the trends you are seeing in terms of Fintech growth in India?
Following are the major trends that we are witnessing in the fintech sector in the year 2022.
Rise of Neo Banks in India: Neobanks are not only capturing individual consumers but have also proved to be a big support for the MSME sector. According to Statista, the number of neo banking users in India in 2021 is 7.01 million. It is expected to touch 17 million in 2025 with a market penetration rate of 1.2%. In 2021, the transaction volume that neobanks processed included a whopping $30.5 billion and is expected to touch $96.6 Billion in 2026.
Retail Offline Digital Payments: There has been a steep increase in digital payments through wallets, cards, mobile devices especially in rural areas where people only believe in cash transactions.
QR Code-based payment adoption: Be it rural or urban areas, there has been an increase in QR code payment-based systems. As per a report, 40% of India’s population uses QR code in conjunction with UPI makes it even more lucrative for businesses, big or small, to provide a faster and seamless checkout process.
Buy Now Pay Later: There has also been a steep increase in the BNPL adoption rate. As per the Redsheer research, India’s BNPL market will touch $45-50 billion by 2026, from the existing $3-3.5 billion. BNPL is likely to replace credit cards in various sectors due to its ease of use and credit availability.
What will be the challenges for the Fintech Sector in 2022 and in the coming years in India?
The major challenge which fintech sector is currently facing is the issue
Lack of mobile and tech expertise
Big Data and AI Integration
What are the Marketing initiatives to reach out to your customers?
To create our network base back in 2018, we launched the Ezeepay app and started with services like Ezeepay DDS, mobile recharge, DTH recharge, bill payments, cash withdrawal, and AEPS. Our Ezeepay partners offer all these services which are free of cost for all the Ezeepay customers. To reach out to our customers we have set up an ezeepaytouch point at every Pin code which has our ezeepay agents to assist the customers. We also have our theme song with the tagline “EzeepayKaro”, apart we are also planning to launch our TVC and digital ad soon in different languages.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?
In the next three years, we plan to deploy 2.5 lakh Micro ATM in rural areas of India. We are also focusing on Neo Banks in the year ahead. In the next three years, we aim to reach every doorstep in rural India through our varied services.