Credit and debit cards have been one of the greatest innovations of the 20th century. And this is mainly because the ease with which the card fits into your wallet makes it easier to carry it and also these cards have significantly reduced the need to carry a lump sum of money with you. Paydeck is simplifying the use of credit cards and empowering its users to pay with credit card of their own selection regardless of its acceptance.
Paydeck is a platform which empowers credit card holders to pay for goods and services which aren’t capable of accepting credit card payments. It intends on helping people in moving money in a quick, convenient and secure way by allowing users to use their credit cards for paying for anything, which so far they are unable to do. It is the only company that enables its users to pay with a credit card of their own choice regardless of merchant acceptance.
What fuelled this initiative?
Being the owner of a successful business Saurabh didn’t have to worry about money. However, when his business started moving towards an unexpected downfall, his financial stability was hit hard. Saurabh had to part with all of his belongings, including his car, which was his first cherished purchase after his marriage. Due to the financial crisis, he wanted to pay his house rent and CAM charges through his credit card.
Even after thorough research, he couldn’t find a single option to help him do so in India. As the quote goes, ‘Nothing has more strength than dire necessity’, Saurabh’s frustration and pain firsthand inspired him to create a simple solution for a problem that pains so many individuals. He decided on starting off with a platform that would enable anyone to use their card of choice for any payment, regardless of acceptance and without optional recipient participation.
In the Western countries this trend of using credit/debit cards is quite popular. However in India the overall penetration of this trend is lower than even 5%. This is due to two particular reasons. One is the societal preference of using cash and the second one is the paucity of POS terminals in India. Of the 1 crore retailers in the country, only about 6 lakh retailers allow the use of cards to make a payment. The second factor in particular leaves Indians, with the need to keep carrying cash in their wallets/purses. With this background in mind and to help the Indian society to truly unleash the power of cards, Paydeck was founded.
The idea is quite simple. Paydeck uses two of the most commonly found elements with majority of Indians viz. a cell phone and a bank card (credit/debit). Using these elements, Paydeck enables users to make a variety of payments quickly and conveniently.
Aim and motivation
Hailing from a lower middle class family with his roots in Bihar, Saurabh has seen scarcity of money. This scarcity of money which he had seen in his childhood and again when his financial stability took a hit, motivated him to build something which could help empower the middle class at the time of real necessity. With these thoughts in his mind he started off with Paydeck. His technical background certainly made it easier for him to start with this initiative.
The core team of Paydeck consists of four people, Saurabh Suman as the founder and head of product management and banking relations. The customer support and operations are managed by Avishek Roy. Ravi Kumar handles the tech side development and Tarang Agarwal manages the risk/compliance and finance.
Journey so far
Eight months in operation and Paydeck already has 18,346 registered users, out of which 3,500+ users are actively using this platform. Their current transaction volume ranges in between Rs. 70 lakhs to Rs. 1.25 crores with an average ticket size of Rs. 10,000.
“All the bankers either of branch level or zonal level of Kolkata region have considered us as a unique idea. We are the only startup, who is from Kolkata in Fintech & have achieved reasonable and sustainable growth in last 8+ months of our operations”, says Saurabh.
Being the first of its kind in India, Paydeck doesn’t have any competitor in India. They are the only Fintech company currently present in East India. Globally they consider PayPal as their competitor to a certain extent. What gives Paydeck a side edge is their mechanism to empower the Credit Card holder to pay for the goods and services which was not possible so far.
One of the main challenges Paydeck faced was that banks weren’t ready to work with them. The reason behind this was that the banks needed a big brand backing up an innovative idea or else they needed a large sum of FD. They had been asked to put aside a FD of Rs. 20 lakhs to get a lower rate on MDR and get compliance clearance from a couple of banks. They are still struggling to lower the MDR, so that they can pass this to customers. Currently they are trading at 2.5% per transaction. They are trying to bring it down to 2% in next 1-2 months. In the near future they will work towards reducing it to 1.5%.
Paydeck is now working on it’s app which they plan to launch it in the next couple of months. One part of their app would be user centric and the other part would be merchant centric. India has POS and mPOS but digital POS isn’t present in India. Paydeck wants to become the first Digital POS (Card Swiping Machine) of India.