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Merchant payments startup Benow identifies point-of-sale card transactions as the next big growth driver

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Benow, a two-year-old startup from Mumbai, looks to add 4 million PoS devices and onboard a million small merchants in the next four years. Here is how.

Benow started as a digital payments enabler for small offline merchants in March 2016. Its first pilot witnessed signups from 1,000 local merchants in Mumbai. The startup offered a platform that let merchants process BHIM and UPI payments without the paraphernalia associated with digital transactions.

The startup allowed merchants to simply generate dynamic QR codes, and customers could scan those codes on BHIM or their bank’s UPI apps to complete a transaction. It was a quick and hassle-free process, and the infrastructure cost on the merchant side was minimal too. In fact, merchants could operate the service even on their feature phones.

Despite the obvious benefits Benow offered, it was slow to gain ground. Reason - inertia. Plus, our cash-centric mindset.

Not until demonetisation in November 2016 did the platform gain any real acceptance at neighbourhood stores - Benow’s target customer. In an earlier interaction with YourStory, Founder-CEO Sudhakar Ram said demonetisation made people realise that cash may not always be available in the system. Hence, they started warming up to digital modes of payments.

Sudhakar Ram, Founder and CEO, Benow

About a year after demonetisation, in November 2017, Benow acquired Gurugram-based startup Finmo to expand its offline merchant........

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