From GST billing to inventory management, merchant commerce platforms provider Pine Labs wants small retailers to adopt digitization in simple ways. The retail sector has undergone tremendous evolution with the aid of digital technology. The disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the need for digital practices.
Kush Mehra, Chief Business Officer at Pine Labs, being in the business of digital payment technology, resonates the same observation on this digital adoption among retailers – small or big.
Mehra believes that the retail sector needs to be digitally agile in responding to changing customer needs. Be it responding to the needs of an aspirational middle class or incorporating new and emerging technologies to embrace this wave of digital payments.
“At Pine Labs, the focus has always been to help merchants with technology that is seamless, affordable, automated, and provides end-to-end solutions. With evolving consumer behavior, payment application and modes that enable fast transactions and quick checkout are now being preferred,” says Mehra.
Pandemic – the true accelerator to new digital payment needs
The pandemic has disrupted businesses and reeling under the impact of this disruption are India’s small and mid-sized merchants. But, Mehra strongly hopes that with the upcoming festive season, there lies an opportunity for these businesses to bounce back and initiate a revival of sorts.
Pine Labs has always been proactive with its effort to bring innovative and value-added services to help retailers across India. As India entered lockdown 1.0, Pine Labs launched an Android application called ePoS. This mobile app was rolled out to help merchants engaged in essential services to accept contactless and remote payments by just using their Android smartphone.
EMI on debit cards was another feature introduced by Pine Labs during the lockdown. With a decline in consumer spending owing to the economic uncertainties and job losses, EMI on debit cards could present an opportunity for retailers to boost their business. With more than 90% of the card ecosystem in India comprising debit cards, this feature was launched with an intention to spur the demand in retail to a great degree.
For this, Pine Labs tied-up with 25+ major banks in the country and with a network of 100+ major brands to offer EMI on both debit and credit card users.
“We have observed a 26% increase in EMI Gross Transaction Value (GTV) in the month of August as compared to January with Tier 3 and Tier 4 markets registering 35% and 56% increase in EMI-driven GTV respectively. This showcases how EMI on debit cards is finding favor in small cities and towns and enabling business growth for retail merchants,” reveals Mehra.
Fulfilling small merchants’ digital needs on a single touch
There was always this challenge in the retail sector of working around multiple devices for accepting payments and executing allied functions like inventory management, CRM, taxation, etc.
But Pine Labs wants to ease these processes for merchants. What the company does is it provides this one-stop solution in the form of an Android PoS product called Plutus Smart. Mehra explains that with this new PoS, retail merchants can now in addition to the card payments accept payments from 100+ modes including UPI, wallet, QR codes, and Bharat QR on this product.
Added to those features, merchants can use customer relationship management (CRM), GST billing, inventory management, staff management, barcode scanning, and loyalty programs using Pine Labs’ Plutus Smart Android PoS device, enlists Mehra on the features.
“Over 50 partner apps in these areas are now integrated with the Pine Labs’ Plutus payment system and are helping small retailers manage their business better. Small retailers operating grocery, mobile stores, and small pharmacies no longer need to deploy several different software and devices to meet their business needs. Pine Labs’ Plutus Smart provides a full retail-automation solution, on a single PoS device,” says Mehra.
Revealing more on the benefits of their latest product unleash, Nitish Asthana, President and COO, Pine Labs, said, “In the post-COVID period our customers, especially small retailers are relying on digitization to grow their business. An out-of-the-box solution on our Plutus Smart PoS device with an integrated app ecosystem is helping them jump start this business. With Plutus Smart, we are offering merchants a single touchpoint for all their retail store management needs. Small and mid-sized business will gain maximum benefit from this integration as they will not need to invest in different infrastructure for executing day to day activities. This also unlocks a huge opportunity for the growing developer community in India and provides them an opportunity to innovate and build more comprehensive technologies on top of Pine Labs open APIs.”