Will Bahrain-based PayTabs be able to Facilitate India’s Small and Medium Merchants?

Author: Aashika Jain

As India is moving forward in the arena of alternate payment methods, a large number of international companies are making a beeline to leverage their payment networks. Bahrain-based PayTabs, a one of its kind payment platform which is available in 21 countries sees India as a huge potential market. The company is looking forward to facilitate the small and medium merchants with a flexible yet secure payment network.

On the sidelines of the Bahrain Start-up Week & Unbound Bahrain, Entrepreneur India caught up with Punit Thakkar, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy of PayTabs to know the opportunities he sees in India and how he aims to revolutionize the cross-border payment system across the world.

Solving the Pain Points of Ecommerce Merchants

Onboarding small merchants and banks on its platform, PayTabs is solving the cross-border payment problems with its payment network. While talking to Entrepreneur India, Thakkar revealed that the platform is not just a wallet but a full-fledged payment platform.

It usually takes six months for a merchant to get live merchant ID from a bank to regulate its online payment transactions with customers. That’s what prompted the company’s founders to solve the pain points of e-commerce merchants across the world and he came out with PayTabs.

“We did not just partner with banks but also have on-boarded small and medium merchants to help them in payment gateways,” said Thakkar.

High purchasing power for online payment system is the reason why Thakkar joined PayTabs. Currently, the company has close to 15,000 active merchants.

The brand is also onboarding a lot of international PSPs to expand its operations in MENA, GCC, Asia and Africa regions.

Challenges in the Existing Era

Marking low currency conversion rate is the biggest challenge, Thakkar talked about the problems payment gateways face in expanding the business to different countries. He explained that how the PayTabs does cross-pollination to ease cross-border payment process. “We partner with local APMs (Alternate Payment Methods) to leverage our payment network. Instead of local companies actually moving in different countries receive payments, we give them entire access to the Gulf,” said Thakkar.

The following procedure will allow users to enjoy international shopping experience via his/her local cards.

Speaking about how easy or difficult it can be to work with multiple rules and regulations of different countries with thousands of players in the market, he said, “In terms of the involvement of government legalities, we engage in ‘local acquiring’ with commercial banks and at the same time be in close touch with Central Bank for any easy payment process.”

“Secondly, we do have some BINs (Bank Identification Numbers), which we have acquired from the US and Europe. Similarly, in India, we have Indian BIN, and our platform acts as a payment aggregator, that’s how we comply with the regulations of each country,” said Thakkar. Terming it as an ILP (Interledger Protocol), Thakkar said this is how a bank can actually process all these currencies through correspondent banks.

Thakkar further added that PayTabs does not just focus on local acquiring processes but also engages in hedging between the currencies to lower the risks of fluctuations and price movements. The company is processing 168 currencies in the MENA, GCC, Asia and Africa region.

The currency conversion rate of PayTabs is relatively lower than PayPal currently stated Thakkar. While PayPal charges 2.9 per cent in addition to USD 0.30, PayTabs charges 0.68 per cent, which is the direct currency exchange rate.

In India, PayTabs has its offices in Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai. The Bahrain-based company is currently focusing to expand its market in the B2B segment.

Future of Blockchain in India and the world

Blockchain is only for currency conversions. It’s just a ledger distribution,” underscored Thakkar when asked about the reason why regulatory bodies are not allowing blockchain in payment processes. He added that the prime reason is it leverages itself as an exchange house without letting the user know the minors involved.

With the growing mobile penetration in the world, the company is highly optimistic about its business growth. But it all boils down to how the Government of India looks at blockchain network in the future years for the company’s expansion in India.

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