Fintech for Bharat: How FidyPay is looking to close the digital divide
“Semi-urban and rural areas represent Bharat, which are still lagging in terms of digital transformation. Tea Bharath we know today is changing and welcoming new financial solutions based on technology. At the same time, there is the factor of trust. Therefore, Bharat needs different financial solutions as compared to metros and cities, with simpler user experiences. Financial solutions for semi-urban and rural areas should also be cost-effective and flexible for enabling users and businesses to leverage different transactions,” says Dixit, 37.
From Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, Dixit noticed the problems of accessibility to the digital economy and came up with a solution for faster and easier digital payments.
It is this understanding that nudged Dixit to start FidyPay in 2017. What helped was his experience in the world of technology across different roles at firms such as Amdocs and Tech Mahindra where he realized the need for innovation to address the deficiencies in India’s financial ecosystem.
FidyPay started as an initiative for bringing fintech solutions closer to every user, including large businesses and small startups.
What it offers
Dixit says FidyPay is a solution aimed at helping business owners enjoy the benefits of secure, simple and cost-efficient transactions. At the same time, it also focuses on improving the user experience with assurance of security and flexibility of payments. “The initial steps of FidyPay started with R&D, and the operations for the platform kicked off in 2019. Our product suite includes API banking, UPI QR, BBPS, e-KYC, prepaid cards, customized POS solutions and many more. The offerings of FidyPay serve as the assurance of a secure payment processing system, customer support and fraud and risk management. We believe digital payments should be easy, secure and safe for businesses,” says Dixit.
Despite India’s impressive and rapid adoption of the digital economy, there is a considerable divergence in usage between urban pockets and rural India. “The small town in Madhya Pradesh where I grew up and many other towns and villages in India do not have access to the digital economy. It may seem like a surprise, but it is true. FidyPay has discovered an opportunity in India to address the need for financial inclusivity in semi urban and rural areas,” says Dixit.
Dixit adds he can help businesses in these areas with easier ways to enter the digital economy. As of now, Dixit claims monthly transaction volume on FidyPay is more than Rs 1,000 crore across various product lines.
Small businesses can use the FidyPay product stack to explore different types of fintech solutions. For example, one can integrate an online payment gateway for your e-commerce shop at cost-effective pricing. In addition, easy access to services such as UPI and open banking also empowers small businesses to offer flexible modes of payment. Speaking of the technical expertise required for using the stack of products on FidyPay, Dixit says one only needs to know how to use a smartphone.
Bootstrapped till now, Dixit says the challenges during the early phase were mostly about funding and development. I had the idea and needed the resources to put everything together so that my vision translates into reality. However, the expansion of the core team and strategic partnerships fueled the growth of FidyPay beyond the initial barriers,” says Dixit.
FidyPay says it gained momentum as users recognized the capabilities of the platform for offering convenient, secure, simple and cost-effective transactions. It entered partnerships with clients that boosted its presence in the digital economy. “Our first major collaboration with IndusInd Bank in 2020 for POS opened up opportunities for partnerships with many other notable clients along the line. As of now, we have over 500 B2B customers and over 50,000 indirect merchants using our solutions. Some of the other notable banks we serve include Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and we are adding more every day. We have also collaborated with Worldline to deliver efficient POS solutions,” says Dixit.
When Rajesh Agrawal, CEO and Founder of Mayakrishna Sales Pvt Ltd, was looking out for a partner who could provide a solution on banking API, a Google search led him to FidyPay and he decided to try their services. Delhi-based Agrawal says with FidyPay he has “been able to reduce costs and boost productivity by automating several banking-related operations like payment confirmation, refund processing, statement download and balance enquiry. Since we integrated the banking process, we have been able to grow our business, thus it was successful. And a significant change is that we have been able to win our client’s trust.”
Agrawal says because of the integration, not only has his operational costs been cut by 30–40%, it has also provided him with a competitive advantage to expand into new geographic regions.
In FY 2022-23, FidyPay clocked a revenue of Rs 15 crore and is now targeting Rs 40 crore in FY 2023-24.
The company is looking at new product developments to propel its next phase of growth, which includes POS solutions for government institutions. In addition, the company is also working on connected banking projects and UPI solutions for cooperative banks and small fintech platforms. “The support of new product developments has boosted the revenue growth for our company with flexible access to fintech advantages. For example, our eNACH or Electronic National Automated Clearing House solution offers a flexible collection to cooperative banks and NBFCs from customers. Our partnerships with leading financial institutions also serve as a vital boost to our efforts in developing new products,” says Dixit.
Dixit is a big contributor of financial inclusion and believes fintech could do a much better job compared to the traditional financial setup for various reasons. “Take the earliest example of fintech for example. You did not have to visit the bank branch to withdraw money when ATMs were installed in almost every location in the country. When online banking arrived, you could access a broad range of financial services, including options for creating diverse investment portfolios. The next crucial aspect favoring fintech is the assurance of security in financial transactions alongside the availability of clear audit trails. Thus, fintech would drive better financial inclusion than traditional financial services by offering better accessibility and a trusted environment for financial transactions,” says Dixit.
The founder, however, wants to see some regulatory changes to strengthen the space. “I think peer-to-peer payments and mobile wallets are not currently covered by any of the laws and regulations that make up India’s digital payment framework. Also, it is difficult for customers to transfer platforms or for merchants to accept payments from a variety of platforms due to the closed-loop structure of Indian digital payment systems. We must prioritize interoperability, data protection, and security in order to resolve these problems,” says Dixit.