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Business services 2010-06-15

Payment profits via franchising

By Sub Editor
Payment profits via franchising

Providing payment solutions across the WEB, IVRS, POS and the mobile to the under-banked and un-banked population, is an initiative of Itz Cash Card Ltd. In an interview Naveen Surya, MD, Itz Cash Card Ltd shares the growth and success of his company.

Abha Garyali (AG): Brief us about the inception, growth and success of ‘Itz Cash Card Ltd’.

Naveen Surya (NS): Itz Cash Card Ltd, established in 2005 is a part of the Essel Group. ItzCash innovated the entire paradigm of payment solutions across the WEB, IVRS, POS and the mobile bringing payment solutions to the under-banked and un-banked population in India. Today ItzCash has an annual turnover of Rs 2200 crore.

ItzCash card offers easy solution for online payments through their various tie-ups across different sectors. It is also widely used for easy online payment of utility, mobile bill, DTH subscription, energy bill, mobile recharge etc.

ItzCash’s business tie ups include IRCTC for rail booking, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to facilitate online and on mobile payment of property tax, water bill in Mumbai and launched Octroi Silver Cards for traders and truckers to collect Octroi at the Octroi Nakas. These services are delivered to end consumers using 'ItzCash' semi-close prepaid cards or by visiting ItzCash World outlets.

AG: How is ItzCash Card different from other cash card companies? What is its USP?

NS: The differentiating features of ItzCash card lies in its services, technology, safety and security, reliability and over 5000 merchant partners. The ROI given to the franchisee network is also a key differentiator. ItzCash enjoys premium brand status in the highly competitive local markets. The Card offers a portfolio of customised e-commerce and m-commerce solutions in the B2B, B2B2C and B2C space.

AG: When did you start franchising and what was the inspiration behind taking franchise route for expansion?

NS: We believed in the franchisee model since the inception of our business. We took the franchisee model due to:

  • Our association with merchants having mass appeal services
  • Our constant endeavor to bring the non-bankable population, for whom the neighborhood shops are the closest under a financial umbrella. Thus giving them powers to transact online, on mobile, IVRS and POS
  • Prepaid is all about reach and franchisees ensure growth and reach to our merchant services in all classes of towns
  • Presence of the entrepreneurial spirit

AG: What are the future prospects of ‘Itz Cash Card Ltd’ in the franchise industry?

NS: We see tremendous scope for Itz Cash to grow through the franchise model due to:

  • Association of ItzCash with services which caters to mass audiences thus fulfilling their basic payment needs
  • Emergence of digital convergence across all sections of the society
  • A high return margin to the franchisees through the pre-paid model thus making a lucrative business proposition for them
  • Low entry barriers - broadband, printer and computer needed to start a business 

The franchise business growth for Itz Cash can be validated with the fact that at an average we have been growing at 50 per cent year.

AG: How many franchisees do you have and in which cities in India?

NS: Itz Cash has more than 5000 merchants. Itz Cash has over 25,000 Itz Cash franchisees branded as ‘Itz Cash World’ and over two lakh outlets in more than 2000 towns in the country under the brand name ‘ItzCash Point’.

AG: What are the qualities and qualifications that you look for in your franchisees? How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?

NS: To obtain a franchisee of Itz Cash Card Ltd a person needs to be more than 18 years of age. There are no particular qualifications required. Aspiring entrepreneurs do not require much investment for acquiring our franchise. All they would need is a computer, printer and a broadband connection.

AG: What support and training do you provide to your franchisees?

NS: We have a strong focus on providing support and training to our franchisees. We have 10 regional offices across India which is used as training hub for franchisees with regards to product, process and kind of new services. Servicing includes product, process, service training and problem resolution within set timelines. The franchisee is provided support in the form of collaterals, POP materials executed by ItzCash thus driving walk-ins at these outlets to facilitate more business.

AG: What are the challenges in the sector and how can these be overcome?

NS: There are no challenges for the franchisee in fact retailers and shopkeepers who face heat from malls can have opportunity to earn as per their effort.

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