PayU has earmarked Rs 50 crore, to be invested by 2020 in a new service called ‘PayU now’, reports the Economic Times. Currently operating in a beta phase, the new vertical is largely focused on helping businesses with little or no online presence to come online and sell their products/services. PayU now will offer them a platform to list their products and services and also accept payments through the PayU gateway, the report said.

Speaking with ET, Nameet Potnis, business head for PayU Now, said with the latest payment vertical, PayU is targeting to not only get offline merchants online but also help scale up the businesses of sellers who have been using social media to sell goods and services to their friends and family. “India has around 50 million small businesses of whom industry assumption is that only 3% is online, 70% of the rest are completely offline and 30% might be using Facebook to sell their products,” said Potnis to ET. “That is the opportunity we are seeking to capture.”

In the current beta phase, the service has around 5,000 monthly active merchants and more than 500 of them have generated more than 1 lakh transaction run rate per month already, the report said. According to Potnis, the service has around 2 lakh monthly transactions on the platform and by 2020, the company is plans to add 10 lakh merchants on its platform.

Creating online visibility for offline businesses

The report said that the PayU is holding talks with e-commerce companies to facilitate listing the products of enlisted merchants on their websites and possible partnership opportunities for logistics of the sold items.  According to the company’s website, users can create a website with a payment gateway option or send a payment link to customers. Once a customer pays for a product, the money will be transferred to the seller within two days, the website says.  Moreover, the company also intends to offer incorporation services and assist the small entities for their GST filings, the ET report added. Cable operators, travel agents, restaurants, educational institutions and freelancers have been taking to the product in the first phase according to the CEO of the company. “Features like quick settlements within two days of the transaction against the market norm of three days and instant money being credited to the bank account are attracting merchants on to this portal,” he said. PayU claims to have been getting enquiries from merchants in smaller towns and cities as well given that the average ticket size of these transactions hovers between Rs 550 to 600.