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Friday, May 20, 2022

Worldline taps India’s ecommerce, demographic dividends

As firms expand globally, India’s diverse, digital-first economy offers unparalleled opportunities in international ecommerce, according to Ramesh Narasimhan, chief executive officer, India, Worldline Merchant Services, a leading payments and transactional services provider. In a recent interview with The Green Sheet, Narasimhan described India’s market, detailing how Worldline’s cross-border services have removed barriers to entry in the region.

“We’re experiencing a demographic dividend, with 75 percent of India’s population under 45 years of age,” Narasimhan said, noting these tech-savvy consumers rely on mobile phones to authenticate online and mobile app transactions. And unlike China’s manufacturing, export-led economy, India is a consumption economy, he added, with a massive appetite.

“Rapid urbanization and 800 million subscribers on the internet who are eager to try new technology has created a perfect storm and ecommerce is just taking off like a rocket,” Narasimhan said. “In just a few years, we have gone from a very physical economy to a digital economy and by 2025, we expect consumer spending in India will double and ecommerce will grow by 80 percent to about $110 billion.”

Public, private sector support

Narasimhan credited government support as a key driver of India’s digital commerce growth. Programs like Digital India, which supports fintech startups and openness to foreign investment have facilitated a thriving ecommerce marketplace, he noted. The government also created Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), he added, a government-backed platform designed to democratize ecommerce and bring the digital revolution to local communities and Mom and Pop businesses.

This digitally friendly framework, combined with the rise of India as a tourist destination, is attracting businesses from around the world that want to sell to India’s growing middleclass, Narasimhan stated. Worldline is working with stakeholders from across the commerce value chain, including enterprise customers, small and midsize business owners, channel partners, aggregators, processors, MSPs, ISOs and ISVs, to streamline cross-border payments, he noted.

“Payments is local and you need a partner with domain knowledge who understands local regulations and consumer preferences to ensure they can get to market quickly,” Narasimhan said. “Our partners can leverage our relationships gain access to digital commerce markets and rapidly scale with one simple contract and a single integration.”

Tech-driven benefits

In addition to understanding local payment methods and regulatory frameworks, businesses that transact internationally need to understand each country’s payment ecosystem and banking arrangements. These challenges can slow down deployments and need to be repeated each time that businesses enter new regions and territories. Worldline’s cross-border solution suite solves for these issues, he added, citing the following features and benefits:

  • Support local payment methods, including RuPay, UPI and UPI QR and Netbanking.

  • Display transparent pricing in all currencies, including the Indian Rupee (INR)

  • Repatriate funds to facilitate cross-border settlement in the merchant’s preferred currency such as EUR, USD or GBP.

  • Maintain compliance by securely managing data according to Indian security and privacy regulations.

Worldline’s cross-border payments solution suite has helped numerous companies establish a presence in India’s thriving digital commerce market, Narasimhan noted, adding that Worldline partners are deploying it in numerous regions worldwide.

“If you’re planning to do business in ten countries, why go through this process ten times?” asked Narasimhan. “Each country has its own unique rules, regulations, a local payment gateway and ultimately, you want to be able to sell to each market in a way that supports the local customer and enhances the shopping journey.”

Additional insights on India’s market are available at worldline.com/content/dam/worldline-new/assets/documents/worldline-product-handbook-india.pdf

end of article

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