When they first launched in 2016, PAYable was all set to revolutionize cashless mobile payments. Their goal was to empower not the giants, but rather, to empower Sri Lanka’s micro, small and medium enterprises with the ability to accept electronic payments at a very low cost. After becoming a Billion Rupee Startup, the company recently partnered with VISA Inc. on an island wide promotion, signing on an impressive 2,000 merchants over a period of two months.
In just over a year, the company has helped the number of merchants accepting card payments in Sri Lanka grow by 30%, directly facilitating transactions in excess of LKR 1.5 Billion. Further, in December 2017, PAYable marked a record month, with transaction volumes doubling to 2000 transactions per day.
PAYable’s VISA Promotion
Conducted in three stages, PAYable’s VISA promotion covered Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Gampaha, Matara, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Jaffna and Nuwara Eliya. The first two stages saw the PAYable sales team visit a total of 41 towns, while another 21 towns were covered in the Nuwara Eliya stage of the promotion.
From there, the team spoke to merchants and explained the benefits of accepting cashless payments and how the ability to pay via credit and debit cards benefits customers. The promo was also designed to highlight PAYable’s low-cost model and easy-to-use interface which is available in English, Sinhala and Tamil and operable anywhere in Sri Lanka.
The feedback about PAYable
PAYable received quite a lot of positive feedback from the merchants. They noted that both Sri Lankans and tourists now prefer to make their payments via credit/debit cards. For merchants that work seasonally, PAYable’s lack of monthly charges also made it a more favourable option. Moreover, the inbuilt automatic reconciliation feature on PAYable did away with the hassle of keeping a track of hard copies of receipts as all the transactions are recorded on the application.
A word from the people behind it all
“Our first partnership with VISA was a definite success and we are excited about our plans to empower more merchants around Sri Lanka in the second quarter of 2018,” said Yohan Wijesiriwardane, CEO and Co-founder, PAYable. “The interest we saw around the country when we ran the promotion was amazing and we are extremely grateful to VISA for making it possible for us to execute a promotion of this calibre and look forward to more joint projects going forward.”
Anthony Watson, Visa’s Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, noted that the promotion’s success has set the course for more partnerships in the future. “Findings from Visa’s recent payment attitude survey in Sri Lanka revealed that one out of two Sri Lankans are keen to adopt a form of digital payment solutions.”
Anthony went on to state that “This clearly validates the growing appetite for cashless payments in Sri Lanka. The high number of new merchants attained by the PAYable team in the first two months further reinforces the potential for digital payments and cards in particular across Sri Lanka in times to come.”