One of the Indian mobile wallet firms recently came out with a television commercial showing a small retail store in India accepting wallet payments. This wasn’t just a hypothetical scenario that the company was trying to promote, but a change that’s actually happening in India. The smartphone growth coupled with the ATL consumer-centric & BTL vendor centric marketing initiatives taken up by various digital startups is bringing about this revolution.
As the adoption of mobile payments is catching up gradually, various brick & mortar businesses like – restaurants, retailers, even the ‘chai-wallahs’ are being approached by the biggest of wallet firms asking them to start accepting payments via their platform. In a real life scenario, it’s even a hassle for a consumer to have multiple wallet applications (Since each app offers different benefits), the same issue is faced by the merchants.
Realising an opportunity in fixing this link in this O2O scenario, two Delhi based engineers got together to create Screwcash.
What is Screwcash?
Founded in September 2015, Screwcash is a mobile payment startup founded by DCE alumni Sarabjot Singh and Raksh Anand on a mission to eliminate cash transactions by creating a one-solution app which takes care of multiple use cases (payment, saving, splitting & settling) faced by users in everyday life.
The firm has an Android app of the same name, which aggregates different payment options and allows users to pay to any selected vendor. One of the objectives behind the app is to make payments agnostic of any particular wallet or bank, and offers an option to pay by entering only the vendor’s mobile number. Besides retail transactions it offers different P2P features as shown in the image below.
What Problems is it Addressing?
Companies like Paytm & Mobikwik are doing a fairly good job at tapping the O2O space for encouraging mobile wallets and creating a buzz around the same. We asked the founders what particular market need are they trying to solve, to this Screwcash Chief Sarabjot says, “From User perspective – Everyone likes to save money but not many are ready to put that extra effort of searching various portals. ScrewCash wants to take away that effort required in searching and make ‘saving money’ a seamless integrated part of making a payment. Also, many a times we face difficulty in managing shared expenses with friends/colleagues. The app helps you avoid such situations by helping you split bills easily, where every person knows how much he/she owes to others & how much others owe to him.”
He further adds “From SMBs perspective – We are helping brick ‘n’ mortar retailers increase revenue by providing platform which helps them in customer acquisition & retention. ScrewCash acts as a ‘payment + marketing’ platform for them without any requirement of extra hardware. Apart from being able to collect electronic payments via mobile, they can run their own offers/loyalty program which can be completely customized based on their own need.”
Progress Till Date
The mobile app was launched in February 2016, and listed on PlayStore in April 2016. The company has been able to on boarded over 200 merchants in Delhi and is observing a 214% MoM growth in number of transactions. Business model involves charging the merchants a commission fee over each successful transaction.
The biggest challenge being faced by the company is converting vendors to use the platform, which it is addressing by allowing them to accept payments via consumer’s Screwcash app to directly into their bank accounts. “Adoption is one area of concern since it’s a habit change for both users & merchants so right amount of training is a must” says Sarab.
At present the team is converting the vendors through direct selling, and acquiring the consumers via BTL offline marketing & through Facebook campaigns. While the process is a little slow, the founders claim that they are able to engage the users for good through the loyalty program the app offers.
Surviving the Competition
There’s no dearth of payment apps in the Indian market, nor of apps providing hyper local discounts. Keeping that in mind the app is competing with a number of firms such as PayTM and its likes for mobile payments; Crowit, Little and the likes for offers; Splitwise etc, for splitting bills and Chillr etc. for P2P money transfers.
The founders don’t count wallet companies as a threat since they are integrating different wallets (CItrus & Freecharge at present) into their app, and are working on a revenue share basis with them. When asked how do they differentiate their product from the available options, Sarabjot responded “It’s an easy to use one-solution app which takes care of multiple use cases. All use cases (payment, saving, splitting & settling) are interconnected & faced by user in everyday life, and thereby there isn’t a need to keep multiple apps”
The company is bootstrapped and plans to raise its first round of investment within a quarter. It plans to expand its reach to the whole of Delhi NCR region before launching anywhere else nationally.
Since user acquisition cost particularly on the B2B side is high, such a business model would require sizeable capital investment to move faster than its peers to capture the market, before it’s able to sustain on word of mouth, provided the product sticks with the consumers.