Trupay Tells Us How They are Better Than Paytm and MobiKwik

"It’s also a big pain point for the merchants who have to pay a big fee to wallet companies before withdrawing money"

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Trupay Tells Us How They are Better Than Paytm and MobiKwik
Trupay cofounders L-R: Vivek Lohcheb; Narender Kumar; Rahul Gochhwal

“This payment system we created was a precursor to UPI - in a sense we created our own mini UPI before UPI was actually born.”

Digital payment app Trupay is a fintech startup founded in May 2015 by ex – IIM graduates Rahul Gochhwal, Vivek Lohcheb and Narender Kumar. They also soon plan to facilitate payments for mutual funds, insurance companies and taxi aggregators. From meeting the president to investments all the way from New York, chronicled here is their story as told by the founder trio.

The case against Paytm and MobiKwik

While starting we were very confident that mobile payments was going to be the next big frontier that will drive the transactions over the mobile phone. At that time mobile payments were a replica of web based payments through cards and net banking and mobile wallets were just taking off. We really felt that all these existing systems of mobile payments including wallets were inefficient solutions for example with wallets you have to load the money in the wallets using cards or net banking and your money was parked and stuck into the wallets' account.

Also wallets could be used to pay the only the merchants who accepted the money of the same wallet for example, we can pay through Paytm only to the merchants who accept Paytm or MobiKwik to merchants who accept MobiKwik (there is no interoperability of wallets). It’s also a big pain point for the merchants who have to pay a big fee (4%) to the wallet companies to withdraw their money into their bank account. Also the merchants get money in their bank accounts only after 3-7 days.

To solve these above problems we created a mobile based payment system whereby you could pay directly from your bank account using only a mobile number. As you would know all bank accounts are now linked to a mobile number. We created a payment system where your money was debited directly from your bank account and credited into the bank account of the recipient instantly. There was no need to park your money into the wallet. Also since it was real money and not "wallet money" it was acceptable to everyone in the country.

This payment system we created was a precursor to UPI - in a sense we created our own mini UPI before UPI was actually born. And launch of UPI was a big step up for us. Our core focus area and forte lay in providing merchant solutions.

We started our journey with our first big merchant being GoJavas whereby we enabled Cash-on-delivery (COD) payments to be converted into Payment-on-Delivery. With Trupay, customers were able to pay directly from their bank account with a click of a button when they received delivery of their COD orders.

Almost everybody in the country has a mobile phone and coupled with the fact that with Jan Dhan Yojana almost everybody in this country will have a bank account, we feel that mobile phone is going to be a formidable tool to make real time instant payments from bank account.

Share with us what’s special about Trupay

Our core focus area is to provide solutions for merchants to receive mobile payments from any means. All big and small merchants are still tied to the legacy payment options of Cash or Cards. We are enabling merchants in the country to be future ready for all mobile based payments. UPI will provide the biggest fillip to mobile payments in the country and Trupay is at the forefront to provide serve the market.

How did you manage to fund this idea?

Initially we started the company with our own savings but within a few months were fortunate enough to get investment from a slew of angel investors who were veterans of the industry. We subsequently raised an institutional round from funds like M&S Partners - Japan, Kae Capital, Tracxn Labs and Alex Mashinshky of Governing Dynamics Fund, New York.

What are/what will be your monetization paths?

We are focused in our efforts to provide cutting edge payments solutions to merchants and all these merchants are paying clients for us.

Tell us how the business has grown so far

Trupay currently has full suite of payment products for all segments - From P2P payments through Trupay UPI App to Merchant solutions for mobile payments for online as well as offline merchants. Currently we are looking at a merchant base of more than 4000 merchants (which is expanding exponentially) and are processing more than a million transactions monthly.

What is the market size and opportunity?

Total payments in India are currently about $ 1.3 trillion annually with about 95% of payments in Cash. All other forms of payments constitute just 5% currently. With the government's big push, India is decidedly moving towards a digital economy. With about 95 crore mobile phone and 80 crore bank accounts, bank based mobile payments will be the next frontier for payments and will be a big tool for financial inclusion in India.

Any challenges faced setting up? Anything unique to your situation?

Meeting bankers and convincing them to partner with us - particularly in technology where security is a great concern was an arduous task. However, full marks to the new age bankers who look at technology as an enabler really helped us.

Your best and worst memories while running the business

Best memories are meeting some of the best and the brightest people in the world. From meeting President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Nandan Nilekani to meeting Uber worldwide CTO, Thuan Pham. Meeting Thuan Pham was truly inspiring both for his sheer brilliance and his personal story, his clarity of thought about solving gigantic problems and being a refugee from Vietnam with no knowledge of English till his teens to becoming CTO of Uber was truly inspiring.

Honestly speaking, there are no worst memories. Each day is enjoyable when you work for a passion. Every day you learn a little better to live with problems and solving these problems then looking back at them only gives you a sense of joy.

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Trupay paytm mobikwik UPI

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