The Impact of Lockdown on Digital Payments

Tag: Digital Payments



Things in the world of business have changed drastically after the imposition of lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has especially impacted the way people shop and make payments. Needless to say, there has been a severe impact on digital payments as well. On one hand, digital payments, such as donations have seen a massive surge, but on the other hand, digital payments that were made for online shopping have reduced dramatically. Digital payment is a relatively new and highly dynamic payment mode. In the coming days, it is expected to see even more transformation as it strives to adjust to the new reality. Here are some of the ways things have changed and how to adapt to them.

  1. Digital payments for essential goods have increased: There has been a notable increase in the digital payments and wallet payments being made for essential goods. Earlier, people used to carry out cash transactions for everyday use items, such as vegetables, groceries, and fruits etc. However, with this pandemic, the public and businesses are now reluctant to handle currency notes and coins. This trend has led to a massive increase in the quantum of digital payments being made for daily needs fulfillment. Businesses are also more willing to accept digital payments so as to minimize the need to sanitize and contact.
  2. Ecommerce transactions have declined: While digital payments for offline transactions have increased, a significant decrease in ecommerce transactions has been noted. Due to various restrictions, the volume of ecommerce has declined drastically, as the companies are not able to carry out deliveries. Consequently, digital payments in the ecommerce segment have also declined. The impact in this segment is especially palpable as ecommerce was one of the most prominent segments for digital payments. Due to restriction on the movement of goods, people are not carrying out ecommerce transactions, and therefore, payments have been hampered like never before.
  3. Digital payments for services have increased: As more and more businesses are moving towards contactless services and social distancing, a decline in cash transactions has been observed. However, people are still required to pay for essential services such as utility bills, electricity payments and taxes. Hence, the use of digital modes for fulfilling these obligations has increased. Till date, digital payments have played an important role in keeping the economy running, as people are not able to venture outside and withdraw money from ATMs or bank branches during the lockdown. In such cases, digital payments have come to their rescue and have helped them avail essential services.
  4. Travel sector is suffering from reduced demand: The ban on movement of goods and people has wreaked havoc on the transport and travel sector. This segment has almost come to a standstill, as people have either postponed or cancelled their travel plans in the wake of the pandemic. Tourism has also hit a bad patch due to the ongoing ban on air travel and domestic and international flights. As a result, the quantum of digital payments usually made for tour and travel purposes has also declined drastically. However, it is expected that once the lockdown is revoked and people are allowed to go about their normal activities, the sector may see a swift surge. Accordingly, the momentum for digital payments will also increase considerably.
  5. Overall trend: As is evident from the points discussed above, the lockdown has had different impacts on different segments. Digital payments have played an important role in keeping the economy live and running during these difficult times. Despite the restriction on movement and contact, digital payments have made it possible to pay mandatory bills. Also, some businesses have been able to conduct regular operations while observing social distancing, due to digital payments.

All in all, digital payment systems and electronic wallets have proved their worth during these testing times. These technologies have helped in maintaining order amidst the chaos by performing some very essential services. Even after the lockdown is revoked, it is expected that digital payments will continue to be popular as people all over the world will become more cautious about possible infections and the dangers of transactions that involve contact.


Digital Payments: Safer during Emergency and Crisis

Online shopping and digital payments have become an integral part of modern lifestyle. These payments offer a wide range of options and make life easier for customers. However, this modern invention gains even more relevance in the times of emergencies and catastrophe. Whether it is a natural disaster in the form of floods or earthquake or it is the outbreak of a fatal disease, the facility of making digital payments can make surviving crisis more manageable. Here are some of the ways digital payments may be used for crisis management.

Avoid the Spread of Infection: Online shopping is a viable option to displace regular shopping where you need to step out of the safety zone of your house and expose yourself to elements. This feature is especially useful in the case of infectious outbreaks such as the spread of a virus. In these cases, the germs are generally spread through exposure to these pathogens. However, with the help of online shopping, you can avoid unnecessary outdoor trips. On one hand, the use of online shopping will work towards limiting your exposure to foreign elements. On the other hand, the chances of you catching any such infection are also greatly reduced. If there is any outbreak or there is any other disaster, then meet all your urgent requirements by going for online shopping than stepping out.

Stock up On Your Daily Requirements: Access to online shopping and digital payment also enhances your market reach. You are no longer dependent upon your local market or store for buying stuff. Even if your local markets have run out of items including food items and other necessities, you can order essentials from online sites. Such sites may be within your country or even global , thus increasing availability of such items. With online shopping, you can also avoid complications such as hoarding as you can simply order the items as and when you want to instead of hoarding them.

No requirement to Rush to the Bank: During crisis, it is important to maintain liquidity so that you can meet expenses as and when they arise. However, during such times, it may not be convenient or even possible to visit your bank to withdraw money. In these circumstances, it is vital to have access to modes of digital payments. You can combine online shopping and digital payments to survive these catastrophic times. Even if you have to undertake offline transactions, digital payment methods such as the use of wallets may be made for paying for these dealings. The convenience of such payments can make it a lot easier for you to go through difficult times.

Donate to Good Causes: Crisis times call for cooperation and the pooling of funds. You can use online payment methods to donate to various charities helping people prevail in such times. Digital payments create novel ways to manage funds. The use of crowdfunding for sourcing money which is to be used for welfare and rescue measures is one such innovation. You can donate to charities through net banking or credit cards, thus helping other people. In other cases, you may be the recipient of such funds as these methods allow you to receive funds even from far off places.

Reduce Exposure to Currency: Online shopping and digital payments can greatly reduce the stress during crisis times. However, it is still very important to protect yourself against infections and other emergency issues. In order to curb the spread of viruses, you should practice proper hygiene by carefully washing your hands and avoid unnecessary contact with others. You should also make liberal use of cleaning agents such as hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes. These precautions should be used while handling cash as well since coins and notes may carry  germs. You can try curtailing your exposure to currency by using digital payment methods. However, in the circumstances, when you cannot avoid contact with currency, then you should try to limit your exposure by using gloves and other protective mediums. You should also use sanitizers before and after handling cash.

Digital payments are a blessing during crises.

PayTabs’ winning alliance with Zoho Books

PayTabs’ winning alliance with Zoho Books

PayTabs’ winning alliance with Zoho is set to revolutionize digital payments

PayTabs has always moved ahead with the aim of making payment processes simple and secure for small and medium businesses. In a step towards that, it has joined hands with Zoho Books to further enrich its product offering. The partnership with Zoho, a cloud accounting software provider, will enable integration of accounting operations into the current multiple payment options available to PayTabs’ customers. The inclusion of this additional facility into the PayTabs platform will enhance the payment collection experience for business owners in the Middle East.

Zoho offers online end-to-end accounting solutions to business units to simplify financial operations like billing, invoicing, finalization of ledger accounts, preparation of financial statements, automation of VAT compliance and multi departmental integration within organizations. While PayTabs offers a convenient ‘plug and play’ feature for secure, online payment processing, as there was a need for the customer’s payment transactions to be seamlessly integrated into the book keeping records for financial reporting. The incorporation of Zoho’s accounting database with PayTabs would enable availability of complete financial records, including customer receipts, at one’s fingertips. Thus, it is expected that this alliance will throw open the following business advantages:

  1. Instant payment system: Since the records of the finance function are completely integrated with the payments gateway, there is no time lag involved in acceptance of online payments by merchants from e-commerce customers. The set-up process is easy to understand and use, and can be commissioned immediately. The instant receipt of cash inflows, without delay, would considerably improve the liquidity position of the business units.
  2. Facilitates easy reconciliation of transactions: It is imperative that the accounting transactions, including payment receipts are captured in the system and can be traced back to their source and time. This enables effective monitoring of transactions and ease of preparation of financial statements. Zoho facilitates separate recording of customer payments and transaction fees in a clearing account. Thus, the individual ledger accounts of the finance function, especially the revenues realised from online customer payments, can easily be accessed by business units at any point of time.
  3. Supports multi-currency formats: Business enterprises that transact with global customers would be required to accept payments in multiple currencies. The combined features of PayTabs and Zoho would enable reporting of financial metrics, including acceptance of multi-currency customer payments in over 168 global currencies. All this would be enabled automatically, without any need for intervention by money conversion agencies or forex dealers.
  4. Flexibility in Payment methods: Business units can provide the option of multiple payment methods, especially to their customers, based out of the GCC. Besides traditional channels like Visa and MasterCard, business units can offer regional payment methods like SADAD and MADA in KSA, OmanNet in Oman, and KNet in Kuwait.
  5. Cash boost: One has often heard of the adage ‘Cash is king’. Receipts from customers by way of digital payments is an important component of the revenue stream for e-commerce merchants. This instant credit of cash facilitated by a superior and secure payment gateway like PayTabs, can significantly contribute towards enhancing the cash situation of the business. The cash can be fruitfully channelized towards critical working capital operations of the business enterprise. Further, one can also simultaneously keep track of the cash balance of the business from the accounting system, integrated by Zoho.

The alliance is clearly a win -win situation for both PayTabs and Zoho. The business opportunity is also expected to yield rich dividends for the business enterprises that would be able to conveniently receive payments for their invoices online.  This would, in turn, enable prompt receipt of payments, with zero hassles of extensive paperwork. Further, as fast becomes the new normal with digital, the alliance would generate greater returns for merchants and facilitate complete automation of its finance and book keeping function. Happy days ahead for merchants!

How Millennials are revolutionizing the Digital Banking & Payments Scenario

How Millennials are revolutionizing the Digital Banking & Payments Scenario

According to a recent study, 86 percent of the millennials aged 18-34 years say that they are “Mobile Money Users”, meaning they use digital banking and payments solutions on their smartphones. The millennials were the first to get introduced to gadgets and electronic products. And this is one of the reasons why they are more comfortable using digital payment solutions on their gadgets.

Let us discover the aspects that drive millennials to use digital banking and payment solutions. We will also look at the ways they are using these payment solutions in their daily life.

Millennials are Exploring New Options

Digital banking service providers are promoting cashless transactions in order to save recurring expenses and to grow their customer base. The millennials seem to be most interested in the options offered by payment solution providers. The use of hard cash is diminishing day by day and digital banking & payments are on a consistent rise.

Credit card, debit card, and net banking payment solutions are widely accepted around the world. Not only millennials but other generations are equally proficient in using these payment modes. But when it comes to evolving online payment platforms, millennials are the first one to register their presence.

Let’s take a look at the peer-to-peer lending services. Whether you are booking tickets for a concert or dining out at a vegan café; you can use the peer-to-peer lending app to split the bill. This is an excellent choice for all those who go out in groups. Nobody shares the burden of paying bills as everyone can contribute their share. And as millennials tend to go out in groups frequently, they are the ones who are enthusiastically using and promoting these payment sharing services.

Microfinance companies have initiated collateral-free loans. Yet again, millennials are at the forefront to avail these services. The complete process takes place online, from submitting documents to verification to setting up automatic EMIs.

Besides these, unified payment interface (UPI) facility links your mobile number with your bank account, allowing for hassle-free payments without entering user credentials. Similarly, contactless cards working on the principle of near-field communication (NFC) are a rage these days. And undoubtedly, millennials are the ones who are vigorously adopting these digital payment solutions.

Digital Solutions Because…

There are various reasons to opt for digital banking and payment solutions. For millennials, the following factors prompt them to opt for digital solutions:

  • Real-time – You don’t need to wait for hours, or even minutes, to complete a digital transaction. Everything happens in real time, whether it’s splitting money amongst friends or subscribing to a recurring OTT subscription.
  • Secure – Financial transactions must happen over secure online payment systems because financial fraud is a common phenomenon. And millennials, like everyone else, opt for digital banking solutions that integrate robust security measures such as PCI-DSS compliance, 2FA, 256-bit AES encryption, and so on.
  • Convenience – You don’t need to step into the bank premise, sign up checks, count the cash, etc; there are countless ways of conveniently transacting with digital banking solutions. And as time is the most important asset for everyone, including millennials, you can save a lot of it by using digital payment solutions.
  • Personalization – As millennials are tech savvy, they are more inclined towards personalizing preferences on digital banking apps and systems. So whether it’s opting for subscriptions, managing contact list, or browsing offers; these apps have features that millennials simply love.
  • Environment-friendly – Digital banking solutions eliminate the need to use paper and don’t require you to commute to and fro. These are progressive steps that aim at reducing carbon footprint. The millennials are quite conscious about the need to keep the environment clean and prefer eco-friendly solutions.

Final Words

Millennials are surely harbingers of change in the digital banking and payments landscape. While the previous generation is learning from millennials to adapt to digital solutions, the future generations will surely take these to the next level.

How Digital Payments Can Ensure Online Business Success

How Digital Payments Can Ensure Online Business Success

The modern business ecosystem today, is fast changing and as a business owner, you must adapt to survive these changes. One of the most phenomenal change, is the influence of the online market. If your business is not leveraging the growing internet market, you are missing out big time. Now, to survive in the highly competitive online market, you must provide a seamless shopping experience. One way of doing this is implementing a system which allows you to take payments online. A digital payment option helps unlock your business potential in various ways.

This article highlights how an efficient digital payment system, can ensure the success of your online business. Keep reading to know more.

  1. Providing a Fast and Convenient Payment Method

Online shoppers are infamous for their short attention span and their want for instant gratification. What this means, is that you must provide what they need, there and then. After a shopper adds items to their cart, the last thing you want is hitches in the payment process.

While most e-commerce websites promise easy payment, this does not reflect on the choice of payment options they offer. With digital payments, you can now provide a seamless shopping experience which in turn, leads to customer loyalty, fewer abandoned carts, increased sales conversion, and better ROI.

  1. Expanded Customer Base

Most e-commerce websites started out with only credit and debit card, as payment options. But things have now changed and if you do not adapt, you risk of being swept aside in this volatile market landscape. Digital payments allow more customers to complete the purchase journey on your online store.

You have an opportunity to expand your customer base which is the dream of every entrepreneur. By offering multiple payment options, you improve the shopping experience leading to increased sales, high ROI, customer loyalty, and brand recognition.

  1. Serve Various Geographical Markets

The best digital payment systems provide multi-site and multi-currency capabilities. It is now possible to target different geographical markets without the complexities of currency conversion. The idea of a global village has come to pass, and you should implement the best payment system to ensure you leverage this internationalization of commerce.

  1. Minimize or Eliminate Fraud

One of the greatest concerns in the online market ecosystem is safety when making payments. Shoppers must provide sensitive data, to complete payment and when such data falls in the wrong hands, many things can go wrong. This is where digital payments come in handy. The best payment gateway process entails performing card related encryption, authentication, and verification. Through such foolproof security measures, identity theft and fraud can be prevented.

If you have not integrated a digital payment system in your e-commerce store, you need to consider the risks for your business and your customers. Now that online shoppers appreciate the risk of online payments, they only use stores which guarantee the safest shopping experience. It is time to explore available payment gateways and purchase the best for your online store, to provide a safe and seamless shopping experience to the customer.

  1. Increase Profitability

One of the main objectives for every business owner, is to make a profit. In the e-commerce landscape, the stiff competition can reduce profitability and you must think outside the box to maintain the flow of the customers. This is where a digital payment solution comes in handy.

If you can accept multiple credit cards, mobile money, and other digital payment options, you will make customers happy which in turn leads to increased sales and profitability.  Potential customers will find it easy to complete orders which will, in turn, improve your brand’s reputation.

  1. Excellent Customer Satisfaction Levels

One of the major points of concern for online shoppers is the lack of a flexible payment option. It is a major reason many businesses rank poorly in terms of customer satisfaction levels. To overcome this challenge, you need to adopt digital payments.

It is an easy way of keeping your customers happy which leads to high customer ratings. Now that most shoppers look for business rating before making a purchase, you need to implement a seamless shopping experience by allowing flexible digital payments.

There is no gainsaying, the importance of an efficient payment gateway solution allows for seamless digital payments. It is an effective technique to keep your customers happy, increase your customer base, enhance safety security, cut the cost of accepting payments, and increase ROI.