I have been using PayPal for over 16 years and consider their payment service as doorway to prosperity. Featuring an interview from Narsi Subramanian, Director, International Spends and Sole Proprietors, PayPal Payments India.
Tell us about yourself and what did you learn during the early stages of your career?
I have been associated with PayPal for nine years and have worked in various capacities across the EMEA and APAC regions. I started my career in PayPal’s risk team and worked extensively on policy frameworks that optimized key seller risk levers to drive great customer experience& growth. Currently, I manage the MSME segment and the consumer portfolio for PayPal India. PayPal being a pioneer in cross border payments across the globe, my core responsibility here is to bring PayPal’s global payment processing capabilities & value propositions to Indian exporters.
During the early stages of my career, I learnt that the people I worked with played a significant role in challenging and shaping my thinking.
I consistently saw this ‘people’ factor pushing me to higher levels of excellence and execution. Being part of a truly global company like PayPal, I have had the privilege of working across multiple functions and this has given me an opportunity to work with diverse set of people.
Can you share an overview of PayPal’s business in India?
PayPal is an enabler for cross-border transactions in India. For close to a decade, we have enabled small and medium merchants to access the global opportunities across more than 200 markets where we are present. Our key focus is to enable a safe and seamless payment experience.
Our focus in India is to help realise the Government’s vision of Make in India & sell globally.
Additionally, we have two development centers in India, in Bengaluru and Chennai. These centers focus on product development, analytics and product management work for our global clients. The India centres are the largest for PayPal outside of the US.
What is PayPal’s value propositions for the MSME’s and freelancers in India?
One of our unique value propositions in India is Seller & Buyer protection. Backed by our risk and compliance foundation, we underwrite certain eligible products and services bothfor the merchant and consumer. We are proud to say that we are the only payment solution provider to offer these value added services. Through these features, we ensure that the interests of the sellers and buyers are protected such that they do not lose money to transactions or sales experiences that are unexpected. This brings down a significant barrier to cross-border transaction
Global growth and expansion comes with its unique set of challenges. We play the role of an enabler- help the Indian MSMEs and freelancers realise their global dreams by providing them a hassle-free, secure and a risk-assured payment platform.
India is the 2nd largest market for freelancers after the US and one which has strong global aspirations. PayPal offers this audience a convenient and device agnostic platform which enables them to connect and receive payments from clients all around the world. Our products like PayPal.me enables these freelancers to receive payments in real time hence. Services or intangibles is also a key export from India. Our value proposition of Seller Protection has been recently expanded to include intangibles which covers services like software design, code etc.
Our focus continues to be a customer champion and in keeping with this vision, we recently extended the refund period from 60 to 180 days to ensure sufficient time for all our merchants to alleviate customer concerns and process refunds in a smooth and efficient manner.
Our aim is to give our small merchants and freelancers the extra mind space and time bandwidth to focus on their business growth while we take care of concerns such as safety and convenience.
How is PayPal enabling the startup ecosystem in India?
PayPal is invested in bringing technology to the community. As a technology leader PayPal actively partners and provides technology mentorship with universities, developer/start-up circles, industry bodies to share, enable and drive innovation.
The PayPal Incubator is our flagship start-up program and is a testament to our commitment to enabling the startup ecosystem in India.
The incubator caters to early-age startups with the aim of enabling them to help revolutionize and drive innovation in the industry and help entrepreneurs build platforms upon which they can grow their companies. Launched in 2013 in partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the incubator provides a conducive, obligation-free environment for early-stage startups to grow and evolve. As well as an exclusive facility, available at PayPal’s Technology Center in Chennai, the PayPal Incubator offers startups technology counsel and mentorship, infrastructure support and networking opportunities with both investors and customers.
PayPal’s vision is to transform and democratize financial services and become an everyday part of people’s lives. As part of this vision, the PayPal Incubator focuses on startups in the FinTech space, including those focused on core payment features such as wallets, gateways and remittances as well as payments enablers and adjacencies such as biometric authentication along with artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, security and financial inclusion. To date, the PayPal incubator has hosted ten startups and provides access to global mentors, angel investors and venture capitalists.
What according to you will be the key drivers for making India a truly ‘Digital economy’?
The wheels have been set in motion, but what will continue to fuel the engine is a holistic and collaborative approach to its long-term growth and sustenance.
I believethe 4 keydrivers that will transform India into a truly digital economy are –
Comprehensive regulatory and legal compliance framework,
Risk management solutions and
None of these drivers can grow in standalone phases, each graph will need to move upwards simultaneously. While urban India has seen a wide adoption of digital, the key to transformation will be digital inclusion of the hinterlands of India – where infrastructure, security and awarenessare all patchy. The Government of India has been playing a significant role to fast track this transformation.
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