Meet the Startup that uses its software as a service to make billing and other payments easier for small businesses by providing the necessary technology and support. It is a mini-ERP for service providers. Many companies will turn to ERP Advisory Services when they choose who to go with and how to set up the syste for their business, but there is space in the market for a more lightweight system for smaller companies. Swipez was started in 2016 by Shuhaid Lambe and Vivek Iyer, who felt the need to make a product for service providers. Swipez makes payments easier and efficient by creating an Invoice template and sending invoices and SMS messages on time.
Their main focus is on utility services like cable operators, car-wash services, housing societies, schools and universities. “The service providers put up customer information and after that, the customers receive a mail and an SMS. The customer can use the payment gateway on Swipez to pay by credit/debit card or net banking. The provider will get an alert when the customer pays. We have created Swipez keeping in mind small businesses across various segments. We are now seeing that our system is bringing efficiency to their business. The system is making it much easier for merchants to manage their business and clients,” explains Lambe. As of now there are more than 115 merchants using the site with over 60 merchants who have opted for the paid service.
The merchants have different plans to choose from. These plans priced nominally, have features of sending bulk messages, up to a certain number of invoices as per the plan, payment gateway integration, customised reports and a site builder. Lambe further adds, “Lots of merchants don’t have their own websites. Setting up a website is quite costly. And then getting the online payment gateway is a longer process. We launched a website builder and we have a payment gateway featured in it. The merchant can always go on the Swipez site-builder and edit their website content as per their requirement. We make sure that the SEO (search engine optimization) aspects are taken care of. Many of these small businesses don’t have enough coverage to get organic search traffic on Google or Bing.” Once the payment is made, the merchants are charged based on the medium of payment i.e. through debit/credit cards or e-wallets. Any payment less than Rs 2000 on a debit card gets charged 0.75 per cent. A charge of one per cent is levied above that. “We are just about getting our integration done with Paytm as well. This will become another payment avenue for customers.”
Both Lambe and Iyer are highly dependent upon the merchants for their feedback, “The product has been built ground up by feedback given by actual service providers. It is very important for us to listen to our customers. Both of us come from larger organizations, with larger resources at their disposal. But no matter the size of the organization customer feedback is key to building a useful product. Our merchants have really helped us create a more rounded offering.”
This start-up doesn’t see itself having offices in multiple cities yet. In fact, Lambe says that while he wants to sell Swipez in the international market it can be achieved by supplementing their current team. “We would like to expand our merchant base and get more businesses to use the platform. We also want to see whether there is an opportunity to sell it online in the international market considering it is a SaaS product.(software as a service).”
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