Pine Labs is not worried about Paytm – and aims to double down on PoS transactions in a year

  • Pine Labs android PoS device already has 50,000 touch points across 100 cities.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Kush Mehra, chief business officer, Pine Labs talks about why the company is not worried about competition.
  • The PoS market is heating up in India with players like Paytm, Mswipe among others.
Merchants payments platform Pine Labs, which sells point-of-sale terminals, knows the segment is getting crowded – after Paytm brought its own Android PoS. Yet, it's not worried.

Last year, after rigorous development and efforts, Pine Labs launched their Android PoS device, which is already present in 50,000 touch points across 100 cities.

Re-engineering the offline payment market

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“This is probably after a very long time that a product has come in the market and has become transformational in the point-of-sale offline market,” Kush Mehra, chief business officer, Pine Labs told Business Insider.

Pine Labs has been in the merchants payment business since 1998. In that market, the company currently has a wide user base of 150,000 unique merchants which translates to 460,000 touch points.

But they also saw a design gap in the market – PoS was still backed on traditional devices which supported basic payments.

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“But it was time to reengineer the whole thing and that’s how Android PoS came about,” he said.

The Android PoS will not just accept all payments – from card to wallets; it will also offer EMI options on credit and debit cards.

‘Merchants are happy to pay a premium’

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In February 2020, digital payments leader Paytm in February 2020 also launched point-of-sale device which will accept everything under the universe – Paytm wallet, debit/credit cards, all UPI apps and even offer EMI options. Then there's Mumbai-based Mswipe, which raked in ₹1.42 billion in revenue post demonetisation in the year of 2016-17.

Meanwhile, Poynt – a smart terminal which is the brainchild of Osama Bedier, the creator of Google Wallet – is also looking at India as an ideal market. Poynt, as Bedier likes to call the ‘Android’ for digital payments.

Yet, Mehra believes that its device which is not linked with a particular bank and gives a wide variety of options to the merchant, sets it apart.

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“Merchants look at us the best financing option. The market is still very big and under penetrated. Less than 20% of the total merchants in India are digitised. Our proposition is very unique which is targeted according to segments. We are flexible according to the merchant,” said Mehra.

For this, merchants are happy to pay a premium as well. “Unlike our competitors we don’t have to say that our Android PoS is the cheapest or anything. Over the last nine months we have seen that if you solve merchants' problems, they are happy to pay a premium,” he said.

Pine Labs, which has customers like Reliance Retail, Air Asia, Future retail, Jubilant Foodworks etc., now aims to target the small and medium segment even more and identifies it as a high growth area.

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“Until about 2 years ago, 20% of our merchants used to be SMEs, now more than 50% are from the SME segment. We see this number growing to 70%,” said Mehra.

In 2020, Pine Labs has set targets for itself. It wants to double down on its Android PoS touchpoints. “The journey has just started, we were ahead of the curve by bringing it first to the market,” said Mehra.

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