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Cash Crunched - Exploring the Potential of Cashless Payments on Delivery

As this fragmented market is getting more organized to a USD$10 billion industry with the promise of greater service quality, it emerges as an area where digital payments on service delivery have immense potential.

The adage, time is money, hasn’t been truer than it is today. With the increasing focus on convenience, it is hardly a surprise that India has witnessed a steady upward rise in home deliveries of goods and services. However, with the rise of digital India and the accompanying focus on digital payments, the Cash-on-Delivery payment model that can be credited for driving the e-commerce revolution in the country is also being transformed. A survey conducted by Statista revealed that in 2017, almost 88% of the survey respondents chose cashless payments to complete their e-commerce transactions. With increased mobile phone penetration and the rise of the consumer internet, the entire retail landscape is about to witness a sea of change. EY estimates that the global volume of mobile money transactions would cross USD$780 billion in 2017 alone. Clearly, digital payments in the eCommerce sector are taking root, with the concept of e-COD firmly planting itself in the space. This wider acceptance of digital payment options is now set to sweep through the entire “home delivery” sector – be it to pay for goods or services.

Today almost everything can be delivered to your doorstep and thankfully now, each time you don’t need to run to the ATM to withdraw cash to complete the transaction. So what are the avenues that can leverage cashless payments? Besides e-commerce, we are seeing health diagnostic services reaching our doorstep. When the service has reached our doorstep, doesn’t it make sense for payment to be made there as well? So, when sample is being collected at home, a diagnostic report is being dropped off at the doorstep or emailed to the user, instead of paying in cash, the service provider can easily leverage digital payments and generate a payment receipt of the same with equal ease.

There has also been an increase in on-demand home services today. Local services such as carpenters, plumbers, beauticians, fitness experts, groceries etc. are all getting linked to the consumer using the smartphone gateway. As this fragmented market is getting more organized to a USD$10 billion industry with the promise of greater service quality, it emerges as an area where digital payments on service delivery have immense potential.

Paying for LPG cylinders has always been a cash game. The problem with this is that consumers always have to ensure that the exact cash amount is at hand. Ensuring the physical presence of someone capable of making the payments at home when the delivery eventually does take place is also a challenge. Cashless payments can be a huge boon here making payments and collections simpler and convenient both for the seller and the consumer.

India seems to be taking to food delivery quite strongly. This presents another avenue where digital payments can prove to be exceptionally useful. With food delivery services such as Swiggy and Zomato promising anytime delivery, the consumer of today does not have to bound to a specific timeline and digital payments can definitely eliminate the odd hour scramble to the ATM.

You can also get that curated artsy look delivered to your doorstep. Instead of venturing out to get your hands on the knick-knacks found in the quiet corners of obscure lanes, today many sellers are willingly delivering this right to your doorstep. While traditionally, these transactions were completed primarily in cash; with digital payments these transactions can become more streamlined and hassle-free – especially since the value of the transactions is usually higher in these cases. There are several other use-cases too emerging – payments upon delivery of vehicles after servicing being one example.

“There is great potential for spreading the digital payments wave across the services sector in India”, says Jose Thattil, Co-founder, and CEO of Phi Commerce. “Customers today are willing to change their payment habits as has been proven in the past year. Today, the digital literacy of the consumers is on the rise, and the convenience offered by these digital mediums of payments is now widely appreciated. With greater innovations in digital payment, cashless payments are no longer just restricted to cards and mobile wallets but can easily extend to anyone and everyone who has a bank account. This will play a key role in accelerating India’s progress towards becoming a digital economy”.


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