55% of MSMEs use mobile hotspots to connect to the internet for day-to-day business operations: PayNearby Study

­­PayNearby releases its first edition of ‘MSME Digital Index’ – a detailed analysis of tech awareness among MSMEs in Bharat

  • 71% of MSMEs in Bharat use technology in some form for their day-to-day business operations
  • 80% MSMEs said that the adoption of digital technology has had a positive impact on their businesses and personal lives
  • Most digitally adept small business owners fall in the age group of 18-30 years
  • 32% earn more than ₹15,000 per month
  • Smartphones are the most preferred digital device among the MSMEs, followed by desktop/laptop
  • Accounting & Point of sale (POS) are the top software/applications used by MSMEs to manage their businesses
  • 65% chose English as their preferred language to understand technology and conduct business transactions
  • 30% said that cost was a deterrent while adopting technology and 28% grappled with poor internet connectivity
  • Facebook is the most popular social media app and YouTube the most preferred entertainment app
  • 57% of the respondents did not use any gaming apps on their smartphones

The MSME sector in India is on an ambitious growth curve and in recent years, there has been a progressive change in the mindsets of small business owners towards technology adoption. In an interesting insight, PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, today said that more than 71% Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in retail, use some form of digital technology for their day-to-day business operations. The report further highlighted that more than 80% of MSMEs admitted that the adoption of digital technology has had a positive impact on their businesses and personal lives.

The insight was shared as part of a detailed survey titled – MSME Digital Index 2023 – a Pan-India report showcasing technology consumption by MSMEs at the last mile, released by PayNearby today. In its first edition, the report was prepared basis a nationwide survey conducted by the company among 5,000+ MSMEs in the retail space (kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical stores, customer service point (CSPs), travel agents, among others), recording their tech awareness and tech consumption patterns in their professional and personal lives.

According to the survey, the small business owners within the age group of 18-30 years were the most digitally adept, with over 75% of this age bracket owning a smartphone to run their day-to-day business operations and accessing digital content through it. It was immediately followed by the age group 31-40 years. Notably, 32% of them citied that their monthly income is more than ₹15,000. The uptake of smartphones underlines the critical role played by the internet in helping bridge the infrastructure gap and drive tech inclusion at the last mile by onboarding MSMEs on the digital bandwagon.

Among all digital devices, smartphones were cited as the most popular category, with 68% of the users claiming them as their most preferred choice. 66% MSMEs claimed to use smartphones for business activities consuming 2GB -5GB of the internet in a day. More than 52% of these small businesses spend less than ₹500 per month on internet consumption. Thanks to the Digital India mission and the BharatNet initiative of the Government, internet penetration in Bharat has accelerated. It is now accessible to citizens at affordable prices, thus helping bridge the digital divide. In terms of connecting to the internet, approximately 55% cited that they used mobile hotspots to connect to the internet at work. This was followed by Wi-Fi routers at 30%. The use cases of ethernet cable and dongle were a mere 10% and 5%, respectively. 73% used mobile internet to connect to the internet at their homes.

The use of digital devices was primarily for work purposes, with 32% spending 4-6 hours on their phones. However, when it came to leisure activities like social media or online entertainment, the report noted that 60% were spending less than 3 hours. Among the social media apps, Facebook took the top slot with 27%, and YouTube was the most preferred entertainment app with 47% usage. Interestingly, 57% of the respondents said that they did not have gaming apps of any kind installed on their phones.

The report further stated that of all the tech-savvy MSMEs, a majority of 25% used accounting software, followed by POS software and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at 20% and 17%, respectively, to manage their business operations. When asked about the purpose of the usage of digital devices, 25% used them for account keeping and payment acceptance, while 20% stated that technology was used to process transactions. It validates the need to create a thriving tech ecosystem to empower MSMEs so that they can be brought up the growth curve for a stronger India.

In the financial services category, Aadhaar banking and UPI were the two most popular banking services availed by MSMEs at the last mile. Additionally, WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business, cumulatively, were the most widely used messaging apps with 97% usage.

On being asked about the positive impact of technology on their businesses, 32% said that it has helped grow their business by improving efficiency in business operations and 28% said that with technology they have seen an increase in their sales and income. When it comes to the main challenges faced in using technology for business operations, 30% said that they could not afford the high cost of technology, and 29% grappled with poor internet connectivity. Remarkably, 65% chose English as their preferred language to understand technology and conduct business transactions, followed by Hindi at 24%.

Commenting on the report findings, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “The findings in the report are inspiring and emphasize the fact that Bharat is gearing to walk hand-in-hand with India. The digital gap in the country is gradually getting bridged. Riding on the back of the smartphones, internet and fintechs, MSMEs at the last mile are increasingly embracing tech. However, this is just the start. We need to create a strong eco-system where not only access to technology is made cheaper and easier, but also provide an infrastructure where people can be skilled and their tech inhibitions and apprehensions suitably addressed. For this, technology has to be form factor agnostic, easy-to-use, easy-to-manage and easy-to-scale.

At PayNearby, we focus on providing new-age technology solutions—such as providing data insights, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and machine learning (ML) – to help MSMEs in Bharat harness the full potential of tech deployment in their operations. Our innovative, tech-led Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform has encouraged small businesses to explore novel revenue streams, which has, in turn, fueled significant growth in the MSME sector. This digital transition will usher in a new era of commerce and create millions of livelihood opportunities in the hinterlands and small towns, thereby driving economic growth and social upliftment in the real Bharat.”

Commenting on the MSME Digital Index, Jayatri Dasgupta, CMO, PayNearby, said, “India is at the cusp of a tech revolution. However, for this to happen, MSMEs need the necessary tools to get inducted into this fast-moving economy. The MSME Digital Index is our effort to understand the uptake of technology in the MSME segment and highlight areas that need to evolve to bridge the digital divide in our industry.

While it is heartening to see that there is an uptake of technology, in some form, among MSMEs, much needs to be done on upskilling, connectivity and cost of infrastructure to make it more affordable and accessible at the last mile. The MSME report is an eye-opener as it will help us create the right solutions for this sector, in a form that is of most value to them. At PayNearby, our commitment to connect Bharat with India and bridge the digital divide remains stronger than ever.”

To know more: www.paynearby.in

YES Bank’s Saif Khan joins PayNearby as Chief Growth Officer

PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, announced the addition of Saif Khan to the executive team as Chief Growth Officer (CGO). The latest appointment is tactically aligned with the company’s ambitious plans to drive growth, through Distribution as-a-service (DaaS), across emerging businesses and channel partners. Saif will aid in accelerating and expanding PayNearby’s footprints by identifying market needs and opportunities to scale the business while delivering greater value to stakeholders. He will work in tandem with PayNearby’s sales team to achieve growth momentum on planned and new initiatives.

Saif is a seasoned business leader with 20+ years of experience in the banking industry. He comes with a proven track record of building and executing strategies that drive growth and scale businesses. He most recently served as the Country Head of Private Banking, YES Bank, where he was instrumental in conceptualising and implementing the Business Design of Private Wealth. Prior to his time at YES Bank, Saif worked with IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank and Citibank across functions in branch banking and distribution roles and in a variety of leadership capacities. As PayNearby’s CGO, Saif’s endeavour would be to augment the company’s already solid business model and scale exponentially on the top line as well as the bottom, keeping the interest of all stakeholders and customers at heart. By enabling the best strategies to digitise Bharat and bridge the urban-rural divide, he will be responsible to make PayNearby the benchmarked financial service provider in the country.

Speaking on the appointment, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby said, “I am thrilled to welcome Saif into the PayNearby family. Saif will be a key player in rapidly growing our company to achieve our growth targets while gaining more reach at the last mile. At PayNearby, we are witnessing stellar progress, riding on the back of our cutting-edge, tech-led DaaS network and various product offerings designed to make Bharat financially and digitally empowered. Continuing our trajectory, we have plans to fast-track our progress while introducing new lines of business and product offerings, helmed by Saif. He shares a deep passion for our mission and has demonstrated a strong track record of transitioning businesses to full scale, which will be crucial as we enter the next phase of our journey to make India inclusive. We have an ambitious and aggressive growth plan in the coming months, and he is the right fit to make the impact and lead this initiative. Saif is a great addition to PayNearby’s future initiatives, and we look forward to achieving more with his expertise.”

Talking about the new role, Saif Khan, Chief Growth Officer, PayNearby, said, “PayNearby is on a swift growth path, and I feel honoured to be a part of this remarkable journey. We are on a mission to make financial and digital services available to everyone, everywhere, and with our DaaS network, we are taking high-end technology to the last mile. We are ready to move to the next stage of growth as we strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of all in Bharat and empower them. I am determined to help PayNearby reach even greater heights while fostering inclusive growth.”

‘Indian Sign Language (ISL) is crucial’, says PayNearby’s World Hearing Day campaign

PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, today released an awareness campaign on the occasion of “World Hearing Day”. The campaign promotes the importance of sign language and looks to spread awareness about the importance of maintaining good hearing health. It urges people to be aware and learn basic Indian Sign Language (ISL) gestures to communicate better with people who have hearing difficulties. It is in sync with World Health Organization’s (WHO) theme for 2023 – Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality!

According to WHO estimates, there are approximately 63 million people in India who are suffering from hearing impairment. Communication barriers can cause social isolation, exclusion, and discrimination, which can affect the mental health and well-being of people with hearing difficulties. Learning basic ISL gestures is an essential step towards breaking down these communication barriers and helping build inclusive and diverse workplaces. PayNearby’s campaign features Rahul Bhosale a PayNearby employee, who shows how easily everyone can communicate with him using ISL. A special colleague himself, Rahul shares common gestures in the video, including simple signs for common phrases such as ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, and ‘goodbye’.

On the campaign, Jayatri Dasgupta, CMO, PayNearby, said, “Staying true to our brand philosophy ‘Zidd Aage Badhne Ki’, we have always stood and taken a stand for social causes. This campaign is reflective of that. We are an inclusive and diverse organization where we want all our colleagues to feel included. By featuring our colleague, Rahul, in this campaign, we want to send out a message that even with a disability, nothing is impossible. All it takes is empathy on our part and a little bit of sign language. All this can go a long way in facilitating communication with people with hearing difficulties and help create a more inclusive and accessible world for all.”

PayNearby partners with Rajeevika to onboard 10,000 Women Business Correspondents in Rajasthan

  • Aims to make financial and digital services accessible at the last mile while bolstering income opportunities for self-help groups
  • Aims to digitize transactions worth approx. 10,000 crores across SHG ecosystem by the end of FY 24
  • PayNearby received mandate of 8 districts – Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pali

Mumbai, 18th April, 2023: India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, PayNearby, announced that it will onboard women Business Correspondents (BC-Sakhis) from Self Help Groups in 8 districts to offer banking services to various Gram Panchayats in Rajasthan. PayNearby, a corporate BC of YES Bank, will partner with Rajasthan Grameen Aajeevika Vikas Parishad (RAJEEVIKA) to empower SHG members and onboard them to function as Business Correspondents (BCs) and Customer Service Provider (CSPs). PayNearby and Rajeevika’s partnership aims to create livelihood opportunities for 10,000 women BC’s in Rajasthan by the end of FY 23-24. The company thus aims to build a sustainable network to improve the availability and accessibility of financial services across the state. It also aims to digitize transactions through the SHG ecosystem while enabling BC-Sakhis to earn additional revenue.

This move is in tune with the Government’s One Gram Panchayat, One BC-Sakhi mission with the vision to deploy at least one BC-Sakhi in the rural areas by the end of 2023-24. The BC model ensures low-cost delivery of accessible banking services to every section of the society. BC-Sakhis are playing an instrumental role in financial inclusion as they have ensured that uninterrupted banking services are available to citizens, particularly women, across the country. Owing to its extensive reach and influence at the community level, the SHG platform has proven to be pivotal in this task.

PayNearby is one among the selected partners who has been allotted the mandate of 8 districts across Rajasthan, viz. Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Sri Ganganagar, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Pali. Post onboarding, the company will work on upskilling the BC Sakhis and teach them how to offer financial and digital services to their communities so as to enable last mile reach and also provide them with the tools to augment the family’s income.

Speaking on the development, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “Women in low-income cohorts generally manage their money through informal loans and savings. Hence, it is important that they have access to digital and financial tools that give them better control over their earnings and savings. For India to progress, we must empower our women to lead this change. Rajeevika is an excellent initiative by the Government of Rajasthan and PayNearby is extremely honored to be a facilitator of this program and drive empowerment. It will also further our commitment towards our Sashakt Naari, Sashakt Samaaj, Sashakt Desh mission. Through this, women will learn about cash management, savings, banking, insurance and other financial services that will, in turn, bridge the gender gap at the last mile. As aware banking sakhis, these women will play a crucial role in making India an inclusive nation and help bridge the urban-rural divide. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki!”

Alok Jha, Head – Strategic Initiatives, PayNearby, said, “Rural Rajasthan has a robust SHG ecosystem. It is crucial that citizens in rural areas have bank accounts, save regularly, and adopt other financial products and services for their financial empowerment and resilience. Our association with Rajeevika will ensure this. We are positive that the partnership will encourage the uptake of formal financial services among the last mile. We wish to strengthen the capacities of BC-Sakhis, help them increase their incomes, and help build a cash-light SHG ecosystem in rural Rajasthan and gradually make India an inclusive and stronger nation.”

Dr. Hardeep Singh Chopra, Project Director, Rajeevika, said, “For inclusive and sustainable growth at the last mile, BC-Sakhis play an entrepreneurial role in providing banking solutions to underserved citizens. It is our goal to bring these women up the financial inclusion curve, who, in turn, could financially empower thousands of families in rural Rajasthan. Our association with PayNearby will add immense value as these BC Sakhis will play a significant part in handholding and acquainting the masses to financial and digital transactions while driving financial inclusion across the remotest villages and towns in the state.”

Building India’s 2.0: PayNearby

As Anand Kumar Bajaj sat in the headquarters of Nearby Technologies in Mumbai, India, he reflected on his FinTech startup’s place in the country’s digital revolution. His office marked the third point of a neat triangle whose other vertices were Powai Lake—an artificial lake in the neighborhood of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the National Institute of Industrial Engineering—and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, a bold exclamation of architecture that doubled as an art gallery. It was no accident that he had chosen these headquarters as the birthplace of his flagship brand, PayNearby, in 2016. The ten-minute drive to either adjacent location was a reminder that technology, interconnectedness, and access to remote locations were on the fore of his mind when he envisioned launching the national, yet “hyperlocal,” financial services provider four years earlier.

We are now a part of the Harvard Business Publishing case study – Building India’s 2.0: PayNearby. Kudos to everyone who has been part of this journey. Let’s together build a nation where financial access and digital services are easily available to all!

To read more: https://lnkd.in/e8Qe5xy

PayNearby Opens Over 1 Lakh Bank Accounts at Kirana Stores for Last Mile Customers and Small Business Owners

Accelerates its efforts to ensure that every household and small business in Bharat has easy access to opening and operating a bank account

Mumbai, 06 April, 2023: In its bid to offer seamless access to active bank accounts and bring all at the last mile into the formal financial fold, PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, has successfully opened 100,000+ Current and Savings Accounts from semi-urban and rural retail counters in the country, within the last six months. Launched in association with India’s leading private bank, customers can visit their nearby stores and get their accounts easily opened through Aadhaar-based KYC (eKYC).

This milestone is crucial as most of these regions have very less active bank account holders due to low penetration of formal financial infrastructure and the lack of financial literacy. With its fast and secure, tech-backed Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) network, PayNearby is providing citizens in Bharat with an active bank account and the ease to operate it in a seamless and assisted mode. This has ensured greater convenience for the masses who are often fraught with challenges like documentation hassles, long processes, technology, lack of proximity and fear of a formal environment. Interestingly, of the total accounts opened, Savings Accounts saw a major uptake with 75%. This ratifies the need and demand for savings products at nearby stores and reiterates the fact that the savings behaviour is improving at the last mile. The company aims to double down on its efforts and facilitate the opening of over half a million Current and Savings bank accounts from Bharat by the end of this year.

Commenting on the milestone, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “At PayNearby, we have been continuously working on innovation-led partnership models to offer financial solutions to all in Bharat. With more than one lakh Current and Savings Accounts opened, we feel encouraged that our commitment to re-bank India with ‘Har Ghar Bank Khata’ is finally happening. The easy availability of bank account openings at a local retail shop has accelerated the uptake of this service.

With the simplified Current Account option, we are giving retailers and customers better control over their money, allowing them to maintain healthy financial practices and help their businesses thrive. With the Savings Account offering, we hope to get Bharat integrated into the formal economy at an accelerated pace and inculcate a savings behaviour among the masses. We are committed to making financial services and products available for everyone, everywhere. We will continue to make these best-in-class services accessible at our retail stores so that each and every citizen in the country has access to all services and the Bharat-India divide is bridged forever. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki!”

The company’s goal has constantly been to simplify technology for consumption at the last mile and ensure that there is a democratisation of financial and digital services for all.

10,000+ women entrepreneurs have dispensed over ₹900 crores of financial services in the last financial year: PayNearby Study

­­PayNearby releases its annual ‘PayNearby Women Financial Index (PWFI)’ – a detailed analysis on ‘financial consumption by women at retail stores’ in 2022-23

  • More than 10,000 women entrepreneurs have dispensed over ₹900 crores of financial services in the last financial year alone primarily in the state of UP, Rajasthan and MP
  • Over 76% of women who avail basic banking services at retail stores, prefer Aadhaar based biometric withdrawal (AePS) to access cash from their accounts
  • Most digitally adept women customers engaged in financial transactions at retail stores fall in the age group of 18-30 years
  • Cash withdrawal, mobile recharges and bill payments are the top three services availed by women customers at PayNearby retail stores
  • ₹1000-2500 was the most common range of withdrawal
  • ₹500-1000 was the most common range of EMI payments
  • For saving goals – child education is the top priority, followed by savings for medical emergency
  • Non-banking products like PAN services, entertainment, e-commerce and travel also saw a growth in adoption in this cohort
  • Insurance awareness among women grew to 29% but consumption is still below 1%

Mumbai, March 06, 2023: In an interesting insight, PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, today said that more than 10,000 women entrepreneurs have dispensed over ₹900 crores of financial services in the last financial year. The report further highlighted that more than 76% of female customers, who availed basic banking services at PayNearby’s retail outlets preferred biometric authentication as a mode of cash withdrawal. Interestingly, cash which dominated the payment space among women in FY 2021-22, still continues to hold strong, with around 48% of women saying they preferred dealing in cash. Aadhaar-led transactions and UPI QR too have gained momentum. Cards continue to have minimal presence in this segment.

The insight was shared as part of a detailed survey titled – PayNearby Women Financial Index (PWFI) – an annual Pan-India report showcasing financial consumption by women at retail stores, released by PayNearby in association with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) today. The annual report, in its third edition, was prepared basis a Pan-India survey conducted by the company among 5,000+ retail stores in the country, recording financial transactions of women consumers as observed in those outlets.

According to the survey, more than 75% of the retailers mentioned that women within the age group of 18-30 years were the most digitally adept, with over 60% of this age bracket owning a smartphone and accessing digital content through it. This was immediately followed by the age group 31-40 years.

Over 65% of women customers, especially in the cash withdrawal markets, fell in the age group of 31-40 years, with AePS being the most used banking service. Though cash has lost some ground since the last report, it still continues to be the most preferred mode of payment with 48% citing cash payment as their first preference. Incidentally UPI too saw good growth in adoption among women consumers, with preferences ranging from 5-20% among different age groups. Card continues to have little to no recall and usage in this segment.

Approximately 78% of women cited cash withdrawal as the primary reason for visiting a retail store for financial transactions. ₹1000-2500 was the most preferred range of withdrawal for women across the country.

Mobile recharges, bill payments and travel booking were the next three popular services availed by women customers at retail touchpoints. At urban and metro centers, money remittance saw good adoption with transactions being primarily conducted by young working women belonging to the age bracket of 21-30 years and 31-40 years. EMI payments at retail outlets also witnessed decent growth. Though mostly in the range of ₹500-1000, the growth in EMI collection indicates increased awareness and appetite for credit and other financial products in women across the country.

The report further stated that while more than 74% of women operated their bank accounts themselves, they were primarily for the purpose of cash withdrawals and cash deposits. Interestingly, more than 20% of the women also admitted to their husbands operating their bank accounts instead of themselves.

When asked about their top three saving goals, ‘child education’ topped the list, which was followed by ‘medical emergency’ and ‘buying household electronic items’. Interestingly, there was a growing awareness among women to save for their children’s future with more than 68% of those surveyed citing good education for their kids as a priority for them. Saving for medical emergencies and rainy days stood at 30% with women being aware of future exigencies post the pandemic. 55% of women indicated ₹500-750 as their preferred range for monthly savings. Formal savings instruments though, continue to see thin adoption, with less than 15% of those surveyed aware of formal savings instruments.

Consumption of evolved services such as insurance still continues to be low (1%) despite 29% of women being aware about insurance products. The survey highlighted that for India to be financially inclusive in its true sense, there is an impending need to create more awareness for the same, especially across rural and beyond Tier II markets. However, among the cognizant respondents, life insurance followed by health were the preferred choices.

Further, the survey indicated that almost 39% of women visiting Kiranas and retail outlets for financial transactions used smartphones and also availed WhatsApp actively. Adoption in cities was as high as 50-60%. Rural Bharat also saw a good adoption, with double-digit adoption almost everywhere in the country. This signifies a rising acceptance of digital services among women consumers visiting Kirana stores for financial transactions.

The research specified that there was an increased awareness for online entertainment and online commerce, with 16% and 23% of respondents showing willingness to consume these services digitally. It ratifies the fact that women at the last mile are ready to graduate to the next level of lifestyle and technology and validates the latent demand for such services among them.

Another interesting trend that was visible was the leap in travel bookings made by women customers at the retail outlets. 90% of the respondents showed willingness to book a rail ticket from their nearby store, with more than 16% confirming that they have booked one in the last year. Financial identity through PAN card issuance also saw good adoption in this cohort, and although the numbers are still small, it indicates the growing awareness among women to become self-reliant and be a part of the formal financial economy.

Commenting on the findings, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “The findings in the PWFI report are inspiring and emphasize the fact that women of the country are slowly but steadily gearing up to walk hand-in-hand with India’s growth.

At PayNearby, we believe it is our responsibility to bridge the digital divide that exists between segments. Towards this purpose, more than 10,000 of our women entrepreneurs have distributed over ₹900 crores of financial services in the last financial year. This uptake in the consumption of AePS and UPI at the last mile is the result of the progressive efforts of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). NPCI has been the flagbearer of India’s digital transformation and our constant guide in furthering Bharat’s digital journey.

We are also grateful to RBIH for helping us build a fertile ground and a brigade of futuristic Digital Naaris to carry the torch of inclusion further. We want women to have greater control over their earnings, savings, and other critical elements. For this, we aim to enable form-factor agnostic, simple-to-use platforms at all nearby retail stores, so that our women can take control of their futures and be active partners in the nation’s success story. Sashakt Naari, Sashakt Desh,” Mr. Bajaj added.

Commenting on PWFI, Rajesh Bansal, CEO, RBIH, said, “It is heartening to see that there is an uptake of digital financial products and services among women at the last mile. The PWFI report is an eye-opener and game-changer as it will help us leverage technology and innovation in the right direction. Serving as a template, it will help us build symbiotic partnerships and alliances in the financial services ecosystem to design smart, creative, and sustainable solutions for un/underserved women users in India. We are glad that RBIH has partnered with PayNearby in its journey towards building an inclusive nation and changing the notion of how finance is perceived by women or how the market sees and serves women as end-users. At RBIH, we believe economic empowerment will drive gender equality and we are committed to making all women self-sufficient by rooting for frictionless finance for all.”

Jayatri Dasgupta, CMO, PayNearby, said “India is at the cusp of a digital revolution. However, for this to happen, our women force needs the necessary tools to get inducted into this fast-moving digital economy. We are delighted to present our third edition of PWFI, an annual stock taking exercise of where we stand and what needs to be done to evolve women into equal participants in India’s growth journey.

It is encouraging to see young women actively consuming digital financial services across retail stores in the country. The women in Bharat are aspirational, and the increased uptake of services like assisted commerce, online education and PAN issuance validates our commitment to make these services easily available at a store nearby. Today, even though the journey is largely assisted, to make our women self-sufficient, we will need to work harder on creating a more empowered ecosystem around them. This means ensuring easy availability of all products and services that can break tech and cost barriers and be easily assimilated across all segments of the society.”

PayNearby Women Financial Index (PWFI) 2023 Report: https://bit.ly/PWFI-23

UPI transactions witnesses 650% rise at semi-urban and rural stores: PayNearby

PayNearby releases detailed analysis on ‘assisted financial transactions’, in its second edition of Pan-India report titled Retail-O-Nomics

  • 25% rise in value and 14% rise in volume of assisted financial transactions via retail counters
  • 25% increase in the demand for micro ATMs and mPOS instruments
  • EMI collections for financial institutions and NBFCs have seen a steep growth of over 200%
  • Bill payments service at local stores witnessed an increase of 12% in value and 10% in volume
  • Digital loan for MSMEs sees a spurt of 263%

Mumbai, 06th December, 2022: PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, today said that there was a growth of 25% and 14% in value and volume respectively, in assisted financial transactions across semi-urban and rural retail counters in India in 2022. This indicates a behavioural shift in consumers in these regions, with more citizens adopting assisted digital means for their banking and lifestyle requirements and getting incorporated into the formal economy.

The growth figures have been observed across different product offerings of PayNearby, including Unified Payments Interface (UPI), cash withdrawal, MSME credit, utility payment, cash management, assisted e-commerce and more. They were availed by citizens through local retail counters like kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical shops, customer service point (CSPs), travel agents, etc.

As per the report, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions saw a whopping 650% and 500% increase in value and volume across PayNearby retail counters, representing the growing adoption of UPI beyond Tier II regions in the country. This also highlights the pivotal role UPI can play in promoting digital financial inclusion.

The insight was shared as part of the second edition of the pan-India report titled ‘Retail-O-Nomics’, released by PayNearby. The report has been prepared basis transactions across a million plus retail touchpoints throughout the country. The findings of the report are based on business data collected for a comparison period, ranging from January to October 2022 vis-à-vis the same period during 2021.

In a key insight, the report states that the mPOS business has seen more than 100% growth, along with over 25% increase in demand for micro ATMs and mPOS instruments. The upswing in demand for digital payment options at retail outlets underlines the critical role played by small retail stores in bridging the infrastructure gap and driving financial inclusion at the last mile.

Cash withdrawal business through micro ATMs and AePS, which continues to be one of the major income drivers for semi urban and rural digital counters, has seen an overall growth of 8% in value and 9% in volume respectively. Cash withdrawals through micro ATM has witnessed a 25% increase in value and 28% increase in volume as compared to the same period last year. This growth figure shows the growing role played by this portable digital device in ensuring easy accessibility of bank accounts, while helping merchants use cash-at-store more effectively and augment their income. However, there has been a slight dip in the average cash withdrawal per transaction from INR 2620 in 2021 to INR 2595 in 2022.

As per the report, semi urban and rural India were an equal participant to this double-digit growth in assisted financial transactions, and the rate of adoption was comparable between urban and rural underserved demographics.

The report also indicates a sharp growth of over 200% in the cash collection business (including EMIs) with a monthly average of INR 1400 crores, indicating demand for lending and other financing solutions, bouncing back to the pre-pandemic levels. Increased demand was witnessed across most cash collection processes, including collection from logistics and ecommerce companies, which saw a leap of over 89% in volumes. Insurance premiums at retail stores, too, saw a massive 370% in growth and 365% increase in customers during the survey time-period.

Subscription-based digital services, such as OTTs, online education, online gaming have also seen positive growth.  Even though the numbers are small, it validates a latent demand for such services and the growing affinity of digital products in a post pandemic Bharat.

The bill payments service at local stores witnessed an increase of 12% in value and 10% in volume. Mobile recharges grew by 18% over last year. Travel bookings saw a rise of 8% in flight and 6% in rail bookings this festival season, compared to the same period last year, driven largely by visiting friends and family, traveling to their natives for the festival. The report also highlights an 88% uptick in Pan Card issuance quarter on quarter. All of these indicate that the local kirana store has evolved into a multi-utility point for consumers for meeting most of their financial and digital needs.

Micro-credit for MSMEs, also saw a growth of 263% during this period; indicating a huge latent demand for viable credit in this segment that needs to be addressed for India to transition to the next stage of development.

In another interesting observation, around 26% of the banking transactions were registered during the non-banking hours between 6.00 pm to 12.00 am. This underlines the crucial role retail outlets play in serving the masses with their banking and digital needs.

Commenting on the report findings, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “The findings in the report are inspiring and emphasise the fact that Bharat is gearing to walk hand-in-hand with India. Bharat is aspirational, and the increased offtake of green shoot services like assisted commerce, OTT subscription, micro-lending validates our commitment to make these services easily available at a store nearby.

We have serviced close to INR 70,000 crores of digital services in the first 10 months of this calendar year and the steady growth of cash withdrawal business, together with the fast track adoption of some of these green shoot services indicate a steady recovery of our economy post the devastating impact of the pandemic. We will continue to strengthen our efforts to simplify high end technology, so that most services can be democratised and made available to all through our well entrenched Distribution-as-a-Service network.

It is also heartening to see an accelerated demand within the retail community to make assisted financial transactions available at a store nearby. This is not only a great income generator for the merchant, but also helps build the nation grounds up and bridge the gap between Bharat and India. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.”

© 2022 Nearby Technologies Private Limited. All rights reserved.

PayNearby issues over 1 lakh PAN cards from Kirana Stores in last 5 months

On boards up 75,000+ retail stores to issue PAN cards

Doubles up its efforts to provide financial identity and easy financial and digital access at a nearby store

Mumbai, 23 November, 2022: In its bid to provide a valid proof of identity and bring all at the last mile into the formal financial fold, PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital network, has registered 75,000+ semi-urban and rural retail counters in the country as PAN issuance agents. These retail counters include kirana stores, mobile recharge stores, medical shops CSPs and travel agents. With the launch of this service, customers can go to the nearby store and get their PAN cards easily with the help of just their Aadhaar number and biometric or SMS OTP-based authentication. Within the last 5 months, the company has successfully issued more than 1 lakh PAN cards.

Of the 1.3 billion population, there are only 43.52 crore PAN card holders (as of 2019) in the country. This presents a huge gap that needs to be filled for India to truly walk the inclusion path. The generation of 1.1 lakh-plus PAN ids is encouraging as it ratifies the need for these services at nearby retail outlets in Bharat. PayNearby’s goal has been to simplify technology for consumption at the last mile and ensure that there is a democratisation of financial and digital services. Riding on its fast and secure, tech-backed DaaS (Distribution as a Service) network, its micro-entrepreneurs are assisting locals create their financial identities through easy PAN card issuance in a quick, hassle-free, seamless and paperless mode. Once the application form is submitted, a digital copy of the e-PAN is generated in just two hours.

Commenting on the occasion, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “At PayNearby, we have been continuously working on innovation-led partnership models to offer financial solutions to all in Bharat. With more than 1.1 lakh PAN cards issued, we feel elated that the nation-building initiative that we undertook to provide every citizen of the country with a formal identity is finally afoot. The easy availability of PAN card services at a local retail shop has accelerated the uptake of this unique identification. Today, from daily wage earners to low-income farmers, all can get their PAN cards created at their nearest stores. We are committed to making financial services and products available for everyone, everywhere. We will continue to expand the bouquet of services accessible at our retail stores so that each and every citizen in the country has access to all services as their urban counterparts, and the gap between India and Bharat is bridged forever. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki!”

With simple documentation and assisted journeys, the company is gradually addressing all inhibitions that prohibit the large-scale adoption of financial solutions and pushing the masses towards true financial empowerment. This will work towards rural upliftment and will go a long way in providing a formal identity to the people in the underserved and unserved regions of the country which were previously unaccounted for. Slowly but surely, it will bring the underbanked and unbanked segments into the formal financial fold, with better access to products and services that improve their quality of life and livelihood.

PayNearby celebrates Retailers’ Day with ‘Nayi Uunchai Ki Zidd’ campaign

Offers digital identities through ‘Pehchaan ID’ to retail partners

Mumbai, 12 December, 2022:  As a token of gratitude for the relentless contribution of the retailers in India’s growth story, PayNearby, India’s leading branchless banking and digital network, celebrated ‘Retail Employees’ Day’ on the 12th of December, 2022. With its ‘Pehchaan ID’ and ‘Nayi Uunchai Ki Zidd’ campaigns, the company looks to recognize, acknowledge and applaud the efforts of every neighborhood retailer in the country.

Retail Employees’ Day aims at creating awareness and empathy for the substantial role and value retailers add to the daily lives of their customers by offering convenience. And, in sync with the spirit of this day, is PayNearby’s ‘Pehchaan ID’ campaign. Designed to appreciate their efforts, the campaign aims to help PayNearby’s 50+ lakh retailers give their businesses a digital identity. This digital ID will highlight the service the merchants deliver, such as banking, insurance, travel, etc., and also gives them a star basis the number for years they are offering this service.

Pehchaan ID is a stamp of trust which gives retailers the motivation to continue their dedication and replicate their best practices for sustainable development across Bharat. Retailers can use this ID to inform new and existing customers about the services they offer and thus, grow their businesses. This ID can also be shared with customers via various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and more.

Retailers are the last mile champions who have risen above the odds to create positive and social impact through their outstanding endeavors in ensuring the upliftment of their areas. It is the perseverance and persistence of these retailers that is bringing Bharat into the formal financial fold and contributing to an equitable economic growth. Reflecting this is the ‘Nayi Uunchai Ki Zidd’ campaign.

The campaign is a montage of how retailers have taken up additional services at their stores to serve their customers better and bring scalable and sustainable social change in their catchments. It highlights how retailers are enabling services like cash withdrawal, remittance, PAN card issuance, customer savings account, insurance, bill payment & recharges and many more through their stores. Thanks to this, anyone can avail essential banking services at a nearby store without requiring to travel long distances to reach a financial institution or an ATM.

Speaking on the campaign, Jayatri Dasgupta, Chief Marketing Officer, PayNearby, said, “At PayNearby, we are committed to creating an inclusive society and a strong nation. For this to happen, our retailers need to be empowered so that they have all tools necessary to build the nation ground-up. They are the ones who are defining and shaping the local communities and are holding the economic fabric of this country together. ‘Pehchaan ID is a symbol of trust for our heroes who are serving the country with their never-ending ‘Nayi Uunchai Ki Zidd’. They are the ones who are inspiring the transformation in financial behavior at the last mile. We acknowledge the hard work our retail partners are putting in to go beyond the call of duty to make India a progressive nation.”

Speaking on the occasion, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “Retail employees consistently cater to the needs of millions of customers every year, and that too, with a smile. This Retailers’ Day, we are celebrating those who are setting an example and helping the nation stay future-forward and inclusive. Our campaign salutes the retailers who are contributing to the “One Nation, One Service” ideology. We are grateful to be associated with these changemakers. Zidd Aage Badhne Ki.”

Nayi Uunchai Ki Zidd: https://youtu.be/KF44UUTzlAU

Retailers Day Video: https://youtu.be/_SawpfNwUsM

Our Partners

Download PayNearby now

Use PayNearby app & take charge of all your transactions to grow your business