Why Indian Businesses are Changing the Way They Accept Payments?

India has had issues with money in the past. We only need to go back a couple of years to remember the chaos caused by Narendra Modi's attempt to eliminate fraud.

Queues of people lined up at banks and ATMs in a desperate bid to swap their notes for legal tender. It wasn't a healthy look for a country that wants to move with the times and present itself as a modern, technologically-advanced nation.

India was long at the queue in 2016-2017 / Source: 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation - Wikipedia
India was long at the queue in 2016-2017 / Source: 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation - Wikipedia

However, this hasn't stopped Indian companies from taking on the mantle themselves, as the example of cryptocurrencies highlights. Interest in crypto is growing daily, making some of the newest coins the darling of customers who want to be on the right side of history. 

As a result, even in India brands like Suryawanshi Restaurants to HighKart and Sapna are letting consumers pay for goods and services with Bitcoin, and they aren't the only ones.  

Indeed, they aren't the only payment methods that are being accepted throughout India because eWallets are rising in popularity, too, even though Finextra says that PayPal is shutting down domestic payments for over 300,000 merchants. Skrill, another reputable eWallet, especially in Europe, is onboarding people who want to continue using the technology once PayPal pulls out entirely.

What everyone wants to know is, why are Indian businesses adopting this approach?

Internet Penetration is Growing  

41% of the Population was using Internet in 2019 as per World Bank.

For a country with a population of well over one billion, India could dominate the eCommerce industry. It's a significant sector since it accounted for around £16.6 billion in 2018.

Still, that's low considering the number of people who live in the subcontinent. If India's internet penetration rate was higher, it would be a market leader, along with the US and China. Thankfully for Indian companies, the percentage has skyrocketed in recent years.  

Currently, it's projected to be above 50%, which means that nearly half a billion people can access the internet and there's still plenty of room for growth if the infrastructure improves. For businesses, it represents an excellent opportunity to appeal to broader consumer demographics, especially as the figure was as low as 7% in 2007. How can they hit this goal?

By giving Indian shoppers the option to use their most suitable payment methods, from cryptocurrencies to eWallets.  

As companies have adopted this strategy, they have started to see the benefits. The main example is the estimated value of the eCommerce market in 2030, which could be worth US$ 350 billion according to IBEF.

Should this be the case, the industry will have grown by an incredible £130 billion in less than a decade. Among other things, the ability to use an eclectic range of payment methods as internet penetration rates have improved is a considerable factor in the expansion.  

Advanced Payment Options are Convenient & Secure

Payment online illustration

Indians haven't suddenly invested in the latest payment options because they are novel. The novelty factor does play a part, but for a service to remain successful in the long term, it must target a gap in the market.

The likes of cryptocurrencies and mobile digital wallets do this via processes that make managing finances safer and more straightforward. Consider cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as examples, with this ToI report stating that India has the fifth-highest rate of crypto owners in the world (7.3%).  

India is one of the world's fastest-growing markets for cryptocurrency trading because blockchain technology enables people to increase their security online. As we reported on Gaurav Tiwari, 80% of hacking attacks, attacks that have risen significantly in the last two years, are down to poor passwords and a lack of internet knowledge.

Of course, Bitcoin removes the need to focus on safety as it can't be tracked, making it almost impossible to hack. For Indians, this is a feature that makes them much more popular than traditional fiat currencies. Therefore, businesses are adding them to their portfolios to stand out from the crowd and convince shoppers to choose their platforms.  

When security combines with convenience, it makes a transaction method twice as essential, as popular Indian hobbies showcase. Gaming, for example, is an activity that has over 430 million mobile players, which accounts for almost 20% of the global industry. More impressively, the number could reach 650 million by 2025. So, it's no surprise that Microsoft in India is incorporating different transactions, not when they are safe and dovetail perfectly with their offerings.

Gambling is a similar story since 748 million Indians use smartphones, resulting in the industry's value hitting £701 million. To engage customers, the top operators such as Bet365 don't just offer the best prices on top sportsbooks like cricket. As this Bet365 review highlights, it also lets its users deposit and withdraw money with Skrill, and because traders can buy and sell Bitcoin through the eWallet, Bet365 indirectly allows account holders to place wagers using the world's main cryptocurrency.

This makes it a very practical platform in a country where people love to gamble even though security can be lax. After all, it's an elegant solution for millions of Indians.  

With internet penetration rates improving and modern payment methods advancing rapidly, operators that sell services in India have access to a bigger base. As you may expect, they aren't looking a gift horse in the mouth.