Online marketplace IndiaMART has forayed into the payments space to enable the over 3 Mn sellers on its platform. The company has launched its buyer and seller protection programme to address the bottleneck of trust deficit for the SMEs.
The new programme will enable sellers to remain free payment risk concerns and assure buyers that they will receive the exact product or service they ordered before paying.
Dinesh Agarwal, founder & CEO of IndiaMART said, “Bottlenecks like trust deficit and lack of credit continue to hold back the growth potential of our SMEs. Being at the convergence of ecommerce, payments, and finance we have a larger plan to address these areas and this is the first step under the umbrella of initiatives like escrow services, payment gateway, invoicing and receivables management, and SME financing. There are more than 50 Mn SMEs in India and our vision is to enable ease of doing business for them. With this protection programme, we are taking our first step in that direction.”
Effective payment facilitation is one of the most important services for an ecommerce marketplace. With reportedly more than 14 Mn monthly business enquiries generated from around 35 Mn registered buyers, IndiaMART plans to offer a service that can help the users on its platform to safeguard their business deals.
According to a company statement, the ecommerce marketplace launched the pilot in January 2017 and has seen a week-on-week growth of 100%. More than 10,000 buyers and suppliers have already registered for the programme. IndiaMART has partnered with ICICI Bank for providing an RBI-approved escrow account management service.
Established by Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal in 1996, IndiaMART helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) discover each other for conducting transactions. This isn’t the first fintech stint for the company, either. In 2014, realising the efficiency of online payments , IndiaMART developed its own payment platform (pay.indiamart.com) to collect the subscription amount from its paid customers.
“More than 90% of our revenue and 60% of the transactions are through online payment modes which were earlier through cheques,” said Dinesh. These numbers depict the changing SME mindset and the growing acceptance for the digital payments among Indian SMEs, which prompted IndiaMART to foray into payment facilitation.
Earlier this month, it was reported that IndiaMART’s online marketplace for business goods and supplies, Tolexo, is laying off about 85% of its workforce. Sources claim, that the move to fire 300 employees was a result of slow business after demonetisation.