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Mswipe adding about 1,500 merchants a month: Founder Manish Patel

Founded in March 2011 by Manish Patel, mobile POS solution provider Mswipe essentially targets small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It offers Swipe, a mobile phone-based POS service for small merchants that enables plastic card payments via mobile phone. The company provides an Mswipe card reader that can be attached to any mobile phone (be it smartphone or feature phone) via a 3.5mm headphone jack. Once attached, the card reader converts the mobile phone into a card acceptance device. The only requirement is a GPRS mobile connection.

It has tied up with Prizm Payments and Axis Bank for the service and Boston-based Roam Technologies has provided an exclusive licence to Mswipe for its South Asia operations. Some other companies that are also offering mobile POS solutions in the Indian market include PayMate India Pvt Ltd, Ezetap Mobile Solutions Pvt Ltd and iKaaz Software Pvt Ltd.

In November 2012, MobiSwipe Technologies had received undisclosed funding from early-stage investor One97 Mobility Fund. And earlier this month, it raised its Series A from Matrix Partners India.

Patel talks to Techcircle about the new fund raised, the milestones Mswipe has achieved and targets for this year.

Edited excerpts:

What will the funding be utilised for?

The money will be majorly utilised for recruiting a sales team across the country to expand our presence pan-India. We are not looking to have physical presence all over the country, but sales representatives will be hired.

With this round of funding have the angel investors exited?

No they are very much a part of the company.

What kind of traction are you witnessing?

We have around 4,000 merchants signed up with us and are going at a rate of adding 1,500 merchants a month. Increasing this number to around 8,000-10,000 a month by March is our next immediate goal. And by the end of next financial year we want to reach a milestone of 50,000 merchants.

What are the new products that we should expect from Mswipe?

Two products are in the pipeline. One is what we call a 'pin swiper'. A pin swiper is a device that lets a mobile point of sales application 'swipe' pin too. In India, nobody has this yet. In this application you enter the pin on the mPOS device just the way it is done on an ATM machine. Usually, Maestro debit cards require a pin to be entered but there is regulation from RBI that might come soon which will require all debit cards to enter pin.

The second product that we are launching is EMV swiper. EMV is a certification protocol for security chip cards for data stored in chips. There is no market for it in India yet, so this one is majorly for customers abroad. But it is likely to come to India soon too.

Please share the growth path Mswipe has traced so far.

We can't share numbers. But just to give an idea, when we started we did transactions worth Rs 3.5-4 lakh and just last month we did transactions worth Rs 10 crore. So, that is the kind of growth we are looking at.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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