Simpel is simplifying payments where delivery is involved, with the power of mobility. It is a mobile payment app that lets customer pay through credit/debit cards – instead of cash – for Cash on Delivery (COD) and Home deliveries without the need for any additional device on the side of the merchants.
Subhradeep Bhattarcharya, the founder of Simpel and an IIM Lucknow alumnus didn’t have an ATM in his college campus. It happened quite often that he and his friends had to avoid ordering something as they didn’t have cash in hand. They even told small merchants to send credit card machines with their delivery boys but that couldn’t happen. In the current age of technology, who keeps cash in hand? It’s rather convenient to pay through credit cards. Subhradeep tapped the need for something that would enable payments via cards, even on home deliveries. And this is how Simpel came into being.
Once Subhradeep and his team chalked out a plan about Simpel, rest of the things fell into place – talking to industry experts, potential merchants, users and stakeholders. This exercise helped them to shape their product. They incorporated the company in August 2013 and launched the app in May 2014.
The company enrolls merchants and enables them to accept payments using credit card/debit card/netbanking. They charge a small transaction fee to the companies on every transaction.
Currently they are launching a pilot in Powai, Mumbai and have 8 merchants on board already from in and around the locality. They’ve managed to garner 100+ downloads from users.
One of the key strengths of this company is the excessive use of smart phones by the current generation. And keeping that in mind, they plan to onboard over 100 merchants and reach 10,000 transactions from 5000 customers by the end of this financial year.
The company is currently bootstrapped and is now looking for investors to expand their technology and sales team and also market the app to get better traction.
There are competitors like MSwipe and Ezetap that share the market space with Simpel. The market size is estimated to be about $10 Billion, of which Cash on Delivery accounts $7.5 Bn and home deliveries $2.5 Bn. However, the USP of Simpel is interesting. It allows customer to pay and merchant to accept card payments, without any extra gadget, unlike its competitors. Everything happens completely through their app.
How Does it Work
It’s simple! The customer just has to type in the merchant’s phone number and amount. The app will confirm the name, only if the merchant is registered. Once checked, the customer can type in his cvv code and get done with the payment. That’s it, no credit card machines required to make big and small payments.
The app also benefits the merchants – small merchants who cannot afford credit card devices and big merchants who are looking for more acceptance from the customers. “We plan to create an ecosystem, in which small and large merchants will help each other to grow mutually” says Subradeep.
The company is on track to break even by April 2017 and also plans to be known as a well established name in the payment space and add more value to their clients with continuous innovation.
The Indian mobile payments market has a lot of potential given that there is a lot of scope for smartphone penetration left. Having said that, paying through an app adds friction on the side of the consumer and there will also be trust issue in storing one’s credit card details on the app. The ideal payment solution for a country like India would be something that runs on feature phones as well.
There is also quite a lot of competition in this space, so let’s see what the future holds for Simpel.
Simpel was one of the teams who launched at our event, StartupDash earlier in July this year. Here’s their pitch from StartupDash launchpad.