BharatPe turns towards loyalty-based QR


Merchant payments and financial services provider BharatPe has initiated plans to help its 7.5 million merchants to roll out loyalty programmes, as it widens the benefits of its loyalty providing subsidiary, PAYBACK India. In June BharatPe had acquired PAYBACK India for roughly $30 million, giving an exit to previous stakeholders American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund.

PAYBACK India on Thursday announced the launch of the “pay” feature on its mobile app, which will help users make payments through unified payments interface (UPI)-based quick response (QR) codes, while earning and redeeming their loyalty points at even small merchant outlets.

The strategy will help BharatPe drive more footfall at their merchants, while offering customers wider redemption options.

Earlier this year, merchant fintech Pine Labs acquired Singapore-based loyalty cashback platform Fave to provide consumer loyalty services to its merchant partners. In addition, it was also looking to enter into consumer payments in India through launching Fave, similar to BharatPe’s PAYBACK strategy.

PAYBACK will be opening this payment feature to its 130 million members helping them earn loyalty points on every QR transaction.

“Through this expansion, we want to ensure that the PAYBACK program becomes ubiquitous for all BharatPe merchants. This will help continue to drive customer acquisition and retention for a wider set of merchant partners now. Further, in our early talks we have realized that large merchants are willing to pay for these benefits,” said Gautam Kaushik, group president at BharatPe, who had previously also served as the chief executive of PAYBACK India.

Kaushik added that over the next three to six months, the company expects to convert all BharatPe merchants into those offering redemption points for PAYBACK users.

“PAYBACK is a great loyalty proposition, which allows customers to earn and redeem loyalty points at thousands of merchant outlets. Last year PAYBACK drove GMV (gross merchandise value) of $8 billion for partner merchants. I would stick my neck out and say the proposition is superior to CRED, MagicPin, Fave or any other loyalty programme in India today. Our vision is to make credit and loyalty integral and invisible to every transaction. PAYBACK PAY will put customers in the habit of scanning and paying on UPI QRs,” said Ashneer Grover, co-founder and managing director, BharatPe.

Through loyalty and payment features, BharatPe is also expected to roll out a consumer credit line as well as ‘buy now pay later’ based credit features within the PAYBACK ecosystem.

Currently, PAYBACK has over 100 direct and indirect partners across both in-store and online categories. The varied partner portfolio covers multiple categories across retail, fuel, banking, payments, entertainment, hospitality and travel.

Some of its key partners include ICICI Bank, HPCL, bookmyshow, Thomas Cook India, Amazon, and Flipkart.

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