JustDialAs a part of what appears to be a transition to a services marketplace in India, public listed directory services company JustDial is planning to introduce JD Cash, a payments platform integration for its Search Plus suite of services. JustDial currently has 20 services online, on Search Plus, and claims to aggregate 145,000 merchants on its platform, including grocery store, medical stores, doctor appointments, and facilitating table bookings and food delivery from restaurants.

“Just this morning we had this meeting about JD Cash which is like allowing micro payments,” JustDial founder VSS Mani said on the company’s conference call, following the quarter ended June 30th 2014. The idea, it appears, is to make card payments easier for customers: “There are lot of cases where people want to take micro payments or even otherwise like pay, so you can order food from the restaurant, you want to actually pay online.”

Addressing Cancellations?

For the quarter ended 31st March 2014, Justdial was reporting 650-700 food take-away orders per day on weekdays, and 1,200 orders on weekends, for the 25,000 food delivery services it aggregated. However, cancellation rates were 4-5%. Mani had said on the conference call then that cancellations were happening because restaurants did not have a delivery boy, or an order wasn’t in stock. The other problem: “So sometimes user changes mind. I want to cancel my orders.”

VSS-ManiWhile there is no liability that JustDial faces, but as an investor on the call pointed out, an order not being completed impacts JustDial’s brand. Mani responded clarifying that “the order is placed to the restaurant, not to JustDial. JustDial is just facilitating, it has a platform through which you can place order to the same restaurant. So every time you place an order, you get a confirmation by text message. In that, you will get the phone numbers of that particular restaurant to do follow-up of the order just in case there is a delay.”

JD Cash could help address some of these issues: a payment being online at the time of booking something indicates that a commitment is being made by the customer to pay, and addresses that the merchant faces, of collecting payments by cash: “Restaurant delivery boy probably cannot come with a swipe card but you can pay JD online and this particular restaurant gets an instant JD cash credit to his account and which means he knows that his cash is safe and it will be hitting his bank account at any moment in the right banking hours.”

“You will slowly see that users like you would love to do things on JD because it makes life easy for you and you can choose the very same vendors, new vendors, recommended by JD, guaranteed by JD or things like that, go by rating and overall you are going to see a big change,” Mani said on the call.

JustDial Financials for Q1-FY15

JustDial reported a Net Profit of Rs 28.11 crore for the quarter ending June 30, 2014 (Q1-FY15) on operating revenues of Rs 135.03 crore, with a net profit margin of 19%. It conducted 277,950 paid campaigns, registering a 25.23% increase from 221,500 campaigns in the same quarter last year and a 6.1% growth quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). More here.

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