Jaijit Bhattacharya – full transcript of the podcast

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Marcel Klimo [00:00]

 If I asked you: what’s the population of India, what would you say? Just under a million? Over a billion? Well, as of right now, it’s probably somewhere in the range of 1.3 to 1.4 billion. But now to a more important question, as it says, this is a podcast about FinTech and financial services: How many of those people have a payment card?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a debit card or credit card. How many of those have a payment card? Can you guess?  

On this episode of Inside the Vacuum, I speak with Jaijit, from ZUPCash, all the way from India. Usually, this podcast focuses on FinTech founders or people trying to make cool and interesting things in the financial services space. But this time, I’m talking about a topic that is absolutely mind-boggling to most Europeans and Americans, and that is the massive size of the Indian market or generally the Asian market right now.
There are massively growing economies. We recently had Brano from Vietnam, talking about how that market is very different from what we see in Europe. And today I have Jaijit, from ZUPCash, to tell us more about how they are changing the way small merchants accept payments in India.

So Jaijit, what does ZUPCash do, and how do you work?

Jaijit Bhattacharya [01:36] 

We convert a smartphone into a payment acceptance system, and it’s able to accept payments from any digital tool.
So if it got with NFC or without NFC or with the phones with RFC or phones without an RFC. Or from a QR code-based payments, we enable our merchants to accept payments from any of these modes of payment that is out there. Therefore once the application is downloaded onto our merchant’s phone, and the soft pass is there, there is no way that they will not be able to accept payment from the customers.

Marcel Klimo [02:11] 

So, what this really means is that millions of merchants around India are now empowered to just download an app and start using it to accept payments. So the immediate question that comes up after that, is there even a market for it? Is there even POS terminal penetration that people just don’t need it yet.
Well, this is when I started to get really surprised by the scale at which things happen in India. 

Jaijit Bhattacharya [02:42] 

If you look at China or even Brazil, they have got more than one payment terminal for every a hundred citizens.
We have got less than one for every 426 citizens. So that’s the difference that we have between China, Brazil, and India. And currently the payment terminal officially, the penetration of payment terminals is about 10% of the merchants. And officially it’s about 5% because there are a large number of people out there who are not typically merchants, but they need payment acceptance.

Marcel Klimo [03:09] 

So at this point, you must be thinking: this is people selling food on the street, this is small merchants selling things that they manufactured immediately in the marketplace somewhere. But that’s not really true. This goes all the way up in the food chain of merchants.

Jaijit Bhattacharya [03:27] 

There are doctors out there, they’re also merchants. There are ticketing agents, there are carpenters, there are electricians, there are taxi drivers. They’re all merchants. They all live to accept payments, but statistically, they’re not counted as merchants. So if you count all of them, as much as everybody who needs payment acceptance, then we have only about 5% penetration of payment dominance in India

Marcel Klimo [03:48]

You heard that correctly. There’s only 5% penetration of payment terminals in India. Does it mean that there’s just 5% of the population that have cards? Not really. And this is where the big surprise arrives.

Jaijit Bhattacharya [04:05] 

So fortunately because of the government intervention, the last four or five years, 360 million new accounts have been opened for those who never had a bank account. And so there are 360 million new debit cards up there. So there’s a total of 850 billion debit cards in India and about 50 million credit cards out there.
So there are 900 million owners, which means practically every adult in India has a card and therefore they can make a payment as long as there is a payment terminal on the other side. 

Marcel Klimo [04:37] 

So at this point, as a European, this starts to really make my brain go haywire. I mean 900 million owners of cards? That’s practically twice the size of the European market, depending on how you look at it, it’s possibly three times the size of the American market. This is just massive. Like, this is absolutely incredible having 900 million card owners and about 360 million of those being completely new in the market? That’s just massive.

Jaijit Bhattacharya [05:21] 

Absolutely, absolutely. We are extremely bullished. We believe we have the right place, right time. The government did most of the heavy lifting. They did the job of providing a bank account and a card to everybody in the country. We are just leveraging that and putting a layer of technology on top of it to take it to a logical conclusion.

Marcel Klimo [05:39] 

And at this point in their growth that really focusing on their core market which is using Android. They’re gonna support iOS eventually, but for now Android is the focus

Jaijit Bhattacharya [05:50] 

We haven’t gone ahead to support iPhone as of now, because the point is that we are really targeting those who are little lower in the pyramid of fortunes. And if somebody can afford an iPhone, they would rather buy a dedicated payment device while we are targeted towards those who are not in that income bracket.
And more importantly, even if there are chains and there are a lot of our customers who won’t change the shops. They will not go ahead and buy an iPhone for the employee so that they can do the billing and, hence logically from a business perspective, it makes sense for us to be sick to Android. Our lobbyists start getting requests from the doctors and architects and so on, who want to support iPhone because for them it’s fit for purpose.
You can’t expect to go to a doctor who then takes out a large POS machine from his pocket. In many of these circumstances, they can take out the phone and make a payment and they wouldn’t like to carry an Android phone and an iPhone.

We basically want to enable everybody else’s application to be able to have a payment system. So we would like to go deeper into all the industries and, and go deeper into the supply chain of payments or the value chain of payments.
And therefore we are providing a solution as a white label SDK, but you can get it plugged it into various kinds of other processes where at the end of the process, you have payments. You have payment reconciliation, and you are able to trace back and link it back to multiple other processes, which is why we’re providing a solution as a white table instigate.
It is embedded as part of a larger value chain of processes and systems.

Marcel Klimo [07:22]

So at this point, if you’re operating out of India, you’re now asking, how can I use this? How can I start working with this in my app or start using this as a merchant?

Jaijit Bhattacharya [07:34] 

If they’re in India, they simply go to the Android store and download a ZUP POS and that’s it. It’s called ZUP POS  and they simply download it and start using it.
We haven’t launched it in countries outside of India as of now, but we are handling all of those, on workstations from our Singapore office. We are registered in Singapore and, that’s where we are handling all the conversations outside of India. Because we need to make sure that it’s aligned to the payment regulatory regulations in each of the countries.
And hence we are, right now live in India, but we will be launching in other countries, perhaps in partnerships. In fact, we are looking forward to partnerships in other countries where the payment aggregator work is done by a partner and we provide the technical.

Marcel Klimo [08:20] 

So you can find all the links in the description so feel free to click there and go directly to either sign up or find out more and if you want to reach Jaijit directly here’s his email address.

Jaijit Bhattacharya  [08:32]  

My email address is jbh@zedup.cash, which is cash. It’s very simple. It’s jbh and cash. I’m available there and I look forward to having a conversation with anybody who’s interested.

Marcel Klimo [08:50] 

I would like to thank Jaijit so much for his time. This was a really interesting quick conversation. And if you’re curious, we actually managed to record this in the middle of a virtual FinTech conference. This was actually part of the Virtual FinTech Fair. We are both exhibitors there. Both us as the Vacuumlabs and him as ZUPCash.
And I would like to also thank Musheer one of the organizers or the Virtual FinTech Fair for actually empowering us to have this conversation

I just find the Indian market extremely fascinating and mind-boggling. It’s an extremely massive economy with lots of growth potential. So if you’re interested in finding out more about how you could get started there, definitely reach out to Jaijit either via his email address or just to reach out to me and find out more about how we could work together in the Indian market. 

Thank you so much for listening today. This is another one of those shorter episodes. If you enjoy these, please let me know. And please follow more of these episodes, either on Spotify, on all the major podcasting platforms. Thank you. Thank you so much. My name is Marcel. I’m the host of Inside the Vacuum and we have a few more, very interesting guests coming up in the next few weeks so please sign up so that you can hear them immediately as it comes out. Thank you. Take care and have a wonderful week.

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