Suvidhaa buys AasaanPay’s mobile platform

Payment services firm Suvidhaa Infoserve, handling remittances and payment transactions worth over Rs 8,000 crore annually, has acquired Hyderabad-based AasaanPay’s mobile point of sale (mPOS) technology platform for an undisclosed amount.

The technology will enable transactions to be carried out via a smart phone instead of a traditional bulky POS machine. It enables debit or credit card transactions and cash withdrawal on the spot or on the move using mobile phones and helps reduce the cost of merchant touchpoints.

Suvidhaa was founded by Mumbai-based entrepreneur Paresh Rajde in 2007 with angel funding by construction tycoon Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry. Its investors include Norvest Ventures Partners, World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp, Mitsui & Co and Reliance Capital. AasaanPay is a first mobile-based POS service providers for emerging markets. The company was co-founded in early 2011 by Sainath Gupta, Pruthvi Sabbu, Shashank Sahni and Srikanth Chakkilam and funded by Tvarita Capital.

“We have been exploring ideas to tap the 15 crore cards issued under Jandhan Yojana and enhance the card acceptance ecosystem. India has about 650 million cards, and only two lakh ATMs and about 10 lakhs POS outlets,” Paresh Rajde, founder of Suvidhaa Infoserve, said.  Suvidhaa is India’s largest payment management company with 80,000 retail touchpoints. “With our experience of handing 30 million unique customers at the bottom of the pyramid for the last seven years, this technology acquisition will accelerate our merchant acquiring capabilities several times. Our technology will also find synergies for rapid expansion of new payment bank licence holders. We have already partnered with Axis Bank for launching India’s first Aadhaar e-KYC prepaid card and mPOS with SBI,” he added.

The technology will lead to a new customer experience, enable instantaneous conversions for service providers such as e-commerce companies and will also cut the hassles of collecting cash for businesses. The technology will enable small-time retailers who are not entirely connected to the debit and credit transactions yet to cut down the cost significantly while increasing reach. The platform will enable Cash@POS, money transfers and card payment transactions. The RBI recently enhanced the Cash@POS transaction limits to Rs 2,000 for rural areas. Under this withdrawal facility, which serves as a micro-ATM, a customer can walk into the merchant establishment and withdraw cash using the PIN code as in an ATM.

“Mobile is the next step in evolution of payments. Our technology will enable merchants to accept card payments and Cash@POS services in a hassle-free way on their smartphone with the help of a card,” Sainath Gupta, CEO who started the firm in 2011, said.

What it means
* The technology will enable transactions to be carried out via a smartphone instead of a traditional bulky POS machine
* It will enable small-time retailers who are not entirely connected to debit and credit transactions yet to cut down cost significantly while increasing reach
* The platform will enable Cash@POS, money transfers and card payment