CCAvenue*, payment gateway by Avenue India Pvt Ltd. has launched a free package for e-commerce websites that would like to use CC Avenue as their payment gateway. This new package waives the initial payment of Rs.7,500 and the annual software up gradation fee of Rs. 1,200 for the first year.
The transaction fees on all categories except credit card however remain the same in the free package. Speaking to Medianama, Mohan Nair, CMO Avenue India Pvt Ltd said that owing to the growing number of credit card users, the transaction fee rate for credit card has been reduced from 7% to 5.5%.
Stating that this package has been on the pipeline for a while, Nair points to two reasons for the launch of their free package – Firstly, the low margin of e-commerce companies which makes it difficult for them to make the initial payment of Rs.7,500. Secondly, the free package was introduced to allow startups test their ideas without spending much on the payment gateway. On validating their ideas, CC Avenue is hoping to convert the merchants from free package to its premium, privilege packages or customized packages.
Although competition is one of the factors of motivation behind this move, CC Avenue claims to remain unperturbed by any competition in this space. The company believes that pricing is not the only driver for merchant acquisition and points out that it supports more than 50+ payment options for end users.
Live Monitoring Pro for Real-time Monitoring of Bank Servers:
Over a week ago, CCAvenue also launched a real time payment gateway monitoring communication system. Often payment gateways do not function smoothly when a bank’s server is down. This new technology will track the servers that are running and the ones that are having down time in real-time, 24×7.
The merchants can track this data from their M.A.R.S back end panel. Depending on the colour of the arrow, the merchant can act on them. Green up arrow signifies that the bank payment gateway server is up and running. Red down arrow signifies that the bank payment gateway server is currently experiencing down time. Orange fluctuation symbol signifies fluctuations observed during the processing of transactions. There is also an unknown status symbol when the status is unknown.
This technology has been introduced to avoid dissonance from merchants’ end due to customer complaints stating that the payment gateways are not functioning. This feature will also allow merchants to redirect customers to the payment gateway of other banks to avoid problems.
Paytm funded by One97 launched its payment gateway in June 2012. In the same month last year, Citrus Payment Solutions got funded by Sequoia Capital. PayU was launched in 2011 by Naspers the South African company that also owns Ibibo with Tencent. The Indian payment gateway, EBS also got acquired by European payment provider, Ogone in September 2011. Earlier this month, Ogone was acquired (pdf) by the payment solution provider Ingenico for €360 million.
Zakpay and BillDesk are also other independent players in this space. Although independent players do exist, the biggest piece of the pie is held by banks like ICICI bank, HDFC and Citibank. With the steady rising competition from other players in the market especially the foreign entrants, CC Avenue is bound to come out more features to consolidate its position more in the Indian market. It seems like they are presently focusing on a mix of user experience and pricing to strength their position.
Disclosure: CCAvenue is an advertiser with Medianama