Naspers operated payment company PayU India* has launched PayUPaisa, which enables businesses to set up online stores and storefronts on to collect money from their customers.

On offer are free web stores and free store fronts with services like email invoicing. Sellers can provide requisite details for the store like store name, contact details and upload products along with their images. There doesn’t seem to be any limit on how many products can a seller upload to their store as of now, and the stores can be apparently integrated with the company websites.

In return, PayU will charge sellers 3.2% transaction charge and Rs 3 per transaction.

Online Documentation: When we checked, we noticed that after signing up, sellers need to fill in a merchant application form with requisite business details like business name, email, phone number, PAN Card details, bank account details and submit it for approval. PayU India claims to review each application within 24 hours of submission, following which sellers can publish their online stores and store fronts.

We found the concept of online documentation while onboarding merchants to be quite interesting, since prior to this, merchants had to either physically submit paperwork or send scanned copies of the documents for setting up payment gateways, which was quite cumbersome. Through this initiative however, merchants can start selling by filling up an online form and providing their PAN card number and bank account details.

Reducing Time To Market For Merchants

PayU India also seems to be positioning this service for businesses beyond e-commerce ventures including  handicraft sellers, schools, housing societies, and event organizers among others, which can probably not afford the initial investments required to setup payment gateways for their respective websites. This initiative will allow them to setup online stores without much investments. In February 2013, PayU India’ competitor CCAvenue* had also launched a similar initiative through which it was offering a free package for businesses that intend to use CC Avenue as its payment gateway. As part of this initiative, CCAvenue was waiving off Rs 7,500 initial fee and Rs 1,200 annual software upgradation fee for the first year.

We’re seeing more and more initiatives, which are looking to help existing retailers sell more easily online, part from the two mentioned above, we’ve have also seen:

– Snapdeal’s Brand Stores initiative, which allows users to setup stores only on
– Infibeam’s self-service e-commerce backend platform BuildaBazaar, which is a paid service with pricing starting at Rs 1000 per month.
– Google had also claimed to have created 2,500 websites for businesses in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk marketplace and set up a dedicating directory listing page for them at in December 2012.
–  MartJack offers a multi channel retailing solution to retailers, manufacturers and other businesses, to build and manage their online stores. It is a paid service with prices starting at Rs 2,650 per month.
SmartStore allows businesses to setup online stores. It also offers a logistics management service, customer support service and product marketing services among others. It is a paid service with prices starting at Rs 1,500 per month.

The extent of the services offered by each platform differ, and while payment gateways essentially offer payment services, and the ability to quickly set up a store, others also incorporate marketing and logistics services. These service providers are essentially addressing key issues that prevent retail businesses from going online, and one should see an increase in the number of e-commerce stores in India going forward.

*Disclosure: PayU India and CCAvenue are advertisers with Medianama