The Case for Small Businesses to Accept Digital Payments

The digital payment space and Fintech industry have grown tremendously with the pandemic pushing more transactions towards contactless. The use of digital platforms for day-to-day activities such as buying meals & groceries, mobile recharges, etc. witnessed an increase as most people preferred to stay home and maintained social distancing.

Digital payments systems continued to receive focus from the government as the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) released ‘Digital Payments Index (DPI)’, a new index to measure digital payments growth in India. The central bank announced operational guidelines for the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme on 5th January 2021, aimed at encouraging the deployment of more digital payment infrastructure in tier-3 to tier-6 centers.

Contactless Payments are paving the way with many innovative solutions and methods such as UPI, NFC payments, FASTags, QR codes, interoperable digital wallets, etc., thus contributing effectively to reducing physical transactions. Accepting digital payments is no longer a maybe, it has become a must-have, and that’s why even small merchants should opt for modern digital payments for their business. Let us see some of the benefits that small businesses can gain from contactless payment options:

Cost Reduction and Time Savings

Mobile Payments:

They can eliminate the cost and time spent on invoice processing by removing labor-intensive manual processes. This also reduces queuing inside shops by using Cafeteria card.

Secure Transactions:

Digital payment solutions enable business owners to keep track of transactions for both their business and consumers, thus preventing fraudulent activities.

Increased Efficiency and Accuracy:

Modern, automated payment solutions mean staff spending less time on manual payment-related tasks, making them more efficient and less error-prone.

Changing the Game: Sodexo’s Digital Solutions

From Gen Z to beyond, Covid-19 has changed the way consumers look at commerce and payment options, and that is why many businesses, including Sodexo, have been focusing on making transactions fast and safe for both consumers and merchant partners. With the pandemic's onset, Sodexo proactively deployed a large number of QR codes to ensure that consumers and merchant partners have access to safe and quick contactless payment options. This payment method is a key part of Sodexo’s digital transformation initiative and the pandemic helped it gain wider acceptance by consumers. Today over 50% of Sodexo’s Proprietary Merchant Network is enabled to accept QR based payments powered by the Sodexo-Zeta mobile app.

Sodexo is the only player to have implemented its very own Proprietary Network of Merchants enabled to accept multi-modal digital payments with the help of solutions such as Card Swipe, QR and Shop ID-based, Tap-and Pay etc. And the company is planning to implement more payment methods thus leading the curve in addressing the needs of clients, consumers, and merchant partners. Sodexo is present in the country's remotest corners, where many times other payment options are not present and has thus played a significant role in introducing and training small merchants on how to accept digital payments.

Sodexo has been highly focused on the digital transformation of its business since the year 2016 and has leapfrogged from paper-based payments to mobile-based payments. Sodexo works with multiple partners to deploy POS terminals at merchant locations by way of shared terminals to reduce the costs for the merchant and aiding a more sustainable ecosystem. Moreover, Sodexo has also partnered with various NBFC’s to offer collateral-free business loans to merchant partners with customized repayment options. Many merchant partners have availed this facility, thus enabling them to invest in better infrastructure and manage day to day business.