Post demonetization, India made a major push towards digital payments with nation-wide adoption of Paytm and then GooglePay. In the midst of a pandemic that emphasizes social distancing and limited contact, people bought groceries, ordered takeout, and made household purchases in an almost seamless manner. The push to go contactless has become much stronger now, in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, and people are hoping to reduce as much contact with outside surfaces as possible. Several fintech players in India have addressed this demand by developing exceptional contactless payments solutions tailor-made for businesses across verticals.
As it stands, only about 14-15 percent of card transactions are contactless, despite 40 percent of the devices being able to accept contactless payments. In addition, there are other options like QR codes and NFC as well. Bengaluru based start-up, Uvik Technologies is transforming digital payments in India through a contactless mobile payment interface. Uvik’s technology enables any business – small or large – to accept payments using NFC technology, which is already present in contactless credit/debit cards. Rahul Hirve, CEO of Uvik walks us through how Uvik has significantly transformed the way payments are done, the state of payments in India, and the pain points that need to be addressed.
In conversation with Rahul Hirve, CEO, Uvik
The payments industry is riding along a huge transformation curve. What are your insights on adoption of contactless payments and how is Uvik positioned to get rid of the pain points preventing the adoption and drive the want and demand for efficient payment solutions?
In India, we have approximately three crore merchants, but only 10-12 percent of them possess card acceptance solutions. The major hurdle is the cost associated with PoS/ mPoS terminals and their maintenance, making them not so feasible to use and penetrate.
With the government and regulators supporting latest technologies to digitize payments and the pandemic led sense of precautions, we believe NFC based contactless payments is the future of accepting safe and secure payments.
By enabling contactless payments acceptance on smartphones, Uvik is helping India in its fight against COVID-19. As it does not require any external device, a merchant can download UPoS app and do a simple digital onboarding process to start accepting contactless payment. Uvik’s cheapest card reader solution provides access to contactless and chip card payments to merchants at 40-50 percent less cost compared to the currently available solutions.
How does your platform simplify accepting payment? How simple are we talking about?
UPoS is a seamless and easy to use digital payment acceptance application, which can be easily downloaded on supported platforms. Once downloaded, a simple eKYC process leads to onboarding the merchant and further allows them to use UPoS to accept digital payments.
The entire process is digitized and has zero manual intervention, making it easy, secure, and a fast onboarding experience. Once the onboarding process is completed, merchants can accept a wide range of digital payment channels like QR, Link and most importantly Card Payments. If the merchant has NFC supported android smartphone and is willing to accept QR, Link and Contactless card payment, the UPoS application is all he needs.
UPoS can also be integrated with UReader, which is the most inexpensive card reader available today in the market and accepts EMV contact and contactless card payments along with other supported digital payment options like QR and Link on a wider platform.
The entire process is digitized and has zero manual intervention, making it easy, secure, and a fast onboarding experience
Brief us about the end-to-end security measures adopted by Uvik to block breaches and avoid tampering?
While making digital payment acceptance simple and inexpensive, we never compromise on security standards; as we say, it is Smart, Simple and Secure payments.
We follow global PCI Security Council standards like PCI-CPoC and PCI-SPoC for UPoS application along with PCI-PTS and EMVCo L1 for the UReader. We are ensuring PCI-DSS for our servers and backend infrastructures.
We also help our partners to be compliant with all necessary security and functional certifications along with regulatory approvals before we go live with them. At the same time, we strictly follow day to day business security right from individuals to the IPs we are developing, thereby making our entire technology safe and secure to use for our partners.
How has been your journey over the last 18 months? Tell us about the major milestones that Uvik has achieved.
We started our journey in July 2019 and raised our successful seed funding with Season Two Venture, California in January 2020. We have our HQ and
development center in Bangalore and soon will have our sales division across the country and outside.
We are ready with UPoS stack supporting QR, Link and Contactless card acceptance with major card networks in India and worldwide. We are global first to launch local network contactless card acceptance on UPoS mobile applications. In a few weeks, we are going live with UReader, with all necessary security and regulatory approvals.
UPoS also being the first and only solution supporting contactless cards for retail and transit with online and offline capacity on softPoS concept, we are enabling few transit partners to accept contactless transit cards soon.
As a Startup, a great deal of the firm’s success can be credited to the team of experts at Uvik. Give us an insight on how the team’s experience drives the growth of Uvik.
Team is the core of Uvik’s success. We are having the best fintech technology team with us making our vision and dream come true. The team not only delivers best products but also has the vision to make high-tech value-added products, which surely will disrupt the ecosystem making payments more and more feasible to accept and grow.
We have a 14-member strong technical team with average experience of more than a decade. In total, we are an 18-member team and growing at an amazingly rapid rate.
Tell us about the future of Uvik as you have envisioned.
As for the technology expertise Uvik has, we are aggressively working with industry partners like Banks, Aggregators, and Payment Gateways to leverage our technology stack to their merchants. Uvik has received interest to pilot over 200,000 installations for 2021 and growing further.
“UPoS can also be integrated with UReader, which is the most inexpensive card reader available today in the market”
Early-stage tie-ups, and end to end technical support to our customers makes us the primary choice for technology partnerships. With our high-tech value-added services, we not only help our partners to onboard more and more merchants but also help their existing merchants to leverage our technology for complete payment and fintech ecosystem.
At Uvik, we believe card payment should be affordable and simple to use addressing 80 percent of the market that still does not have the facility to accept cards. India has more than 800 million debit cards, and more than 50 million of credit cards, making it necessary to have UPoS as a preferred card acceptance solution. Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, we are exploring collaboration and partnerships with wellreputed payments solution providers, e-commerce players, & similar app-based businesses that are willing to accept payments and partner with Uvik to provide Safe, Simple and Smart card payment acceptance solutions to merchants.
En route to the future, Uvik is working on highend ML and AI technologies to develop an innovative and unique solution that will address the merchant and consumer market with respect to more than just payment acceptance.