A “matchless” payment concept dusting off the hassles of e-commerce payments shopping experience: ePayLater, a one-click checkout payment service
“During office hours, you wished to scroll down e-commerce websites to have a glance; suddenly your eyes got struck over a favorite apparel which is limited in stock, you checked out the size, reviews and voila! it’s the perfect match for you. Your heart makes you press the checkout button….your eyes shine while imagining yourself in that apparel and making the heads turn…Then you hear your minds knock knock over your dreamland which makes you realize that you are the responsible citizen to encourage cashless economy in India so you don’t have cash which makes to realize more worst thing which is about to happen..you don’t have the debit/credit card to make online payment and besides what could have been more worse if that’s happening in the mid of the month and you fall short of money? These types of hurdles have become a ‘nightmare’ for the online shopaholics. And with our solitary platform ePayLater, we are just making a foot-over bridge for a hassle free shopping journey for the shoppers.” Aurko Bhattacharya is the Co-founder of ePayLater who gave shape to the company in March 2016 with his partners Uday Somayajula and Akshat Saxena, shares the alluring journey of ePayLater with The CEO Magazine. Crafted below is the abstract of the interview…
What’s the story behind incorporating ePayLater: an ‘off the beat’ payment method?
You can say personal experience! I, Uday and Akshat observed and deep dived about the friction that lives on the check out junction of the e-commerce portals. It was a blend of our individual experiences of friction ridden online purchases and awareness about the issues in availability and access to credit in the country Friendly debates and brainstorming led us to think of the underlying opportunity and how alternate-data led credit could help bridge the gap between market offerings and customer expectations. We soon realized that if we look at the same as a platform rather than a product, and evolve accordingly, it can help us solve related and equally pertinent use cases. To do our part for the cashless economy, we explored ideas to cut the clutter of peeking COD transactions among customers, did a lot of brainstorming to fix the problem of payments. And our trio came out with ePayLater for a hassle free online shopping-to-payment experience for the customers.
So ePayLater can be termed as a sui generis payment mode for online shopping. What sets this pioneering concept apart from others?
Sure it is. We have grown a year older with positive vibes in our revenue, reach and growth. ePayLater offers a unique “Buy Now Pay Later” service to customers making purchases both from offline Point of Sale (POS) merchants and online portals. Using our state-of-the-art big data algorithms, we carry out on-the-fly fraud and credit assessment to make this possible. The customer gets a 14 day period to make the payment to ePayLater during which time he can make multiple such transactions and make a single payment against them. The merchant is settled on booking/product delivery. The uniqueness lies in our concept; ePayLater is primarily an innovative digital method of using credit for making payments. We are here to make credit more accessible and convenient for the growing millennial population of India in a manner which is more suited to their evolving tastes. Put together, ePayLater extends ease of shopping to customers and higher volumes and margins to the merchant.
We wish to make credit both accessible and convenient for the larger population of the country in line with the aspirations of the rising middle class. We use our state-of-the-art algorithms to crunch a lot of alternate data typically overlooked by Financial Institutions to make this possible.
Throw some colors on ePayLater’s financial health, plans, and profit? What’s going on take on the investment part of ePayLater?
The company had raised $2 Mn in its first round of funding last year and is comfortably and firmly placed as far as the financials are concerned. The business is a positive contribution business (i.e every transaction adds to the bottom-line) and hence there is no strain expected in the financials going forward either. ePayLater is growing at a whopping pace of 30% MoM and is expected to better this in the coming months with the addition of more merchants that are currently in the pipeline. And that stands amusing for a year old company! We were looking at a high ticket size (upwards of $ 1 million) so that we could have a runway to work on a platform roadmap.
We found the alignment of thoughts with our investors as for one they have deep experience in the financial sector and also believe in building a long term differentiator. We will be raising a fresh round in some time.
Talking about company’s tuning with its customer? How does the company build a successful customer base?
For us, the number of satisfied and happy customers is the biggest metric of our success. Customer delight is central to our organizational strategy. We believe in providing our customers the best in class service be it through our payment checkout experience, which remains the smoothest possible checkout experience possible, or through the pre/post sales support. A highly satisfied customer base has not only helped us grow by way of more repeat transactions but also by bringing in new customers.
And what about the in-house force?
The company encourages teamwork to exchange ideas and suggestions. ePayLater team is embedded with a highly motivated team of individuals geared to give their best to achieve the goals of the company. ePayLater provides a friendly and an open atmosphere for its team members where they can give wings to their ideas.
The market is flooded with competitors. What is ePayLater’s strength, both corporately and culturally compared to these competitors?
We consider our main competition to be cash! We want to be as universally available and as fungible as Cash. This is an emerging payment method and the industry is currently evolving with multiple players waking up to the gap and opportunity present in this space. At our core strength lies the culture of encouraging innovation and trying out new things. We remain customer focused at all times.
The business voyage of ePayLater has been tremendous. The company has been recognized as one of the most promising 35 new startups by a leading magazine and one of the top 100 startups by other leading magazines. Furthermore, the trio strives to expand its offering to both online and offline merchants whereby the customer can use ePayLater at all merchant touch points on a day-to-day basis.
The Trio: the brains behind ePayLater
An IIT Roorkee Alumni, Aurko is a seasoned entrepreneur who possesses 12 plus years of Banking experience. Prior forming the trio, he has had spent about 5.5 years in ICICI Bank and then another 5.5 years in Barclays. He also holds an MBA degree from IIM Calcutta
Akshat possesses experience of a decade in providing technology solutions for information based financing and payments having worked with SAP and TransUnion. He did his BTech from DA-IICT and an MBA from MDI Gurgaon. He has been a consistent performer, with proven track record of Sales/Business Development, Relationship Management, Channel Management, and Consulting. Akshat is an ace in the area of Business Consulting, Product Launch, Team Management and much more.
Uday also has about 10 plus years of experience in multiple areas of Banking, capital markets and risk consulting specializing in BFSI domain. He had worked previously in ICICI Bank and then in Accenture where he advised clients on credit risk frameworks. Uday is a BTech from JNTU Hyderabad and MBA from MDI Gurgaon.