August 10, 2017

Pine Labs to grow roots in S East Asia

Surabhi Agarwal, ETBureau

NEW DELHI: Pine Labs, which runs the backend software and solutions for Point of Sale terminals (PoS) across the country, is expanding internationally. The company, which has over 70,000 merchants and 2,50,000 PoS machines in India, is emulating its India strategy in the South East Asian market.

Kush Mehra, president, Asia Pacific, payments business of Pine Labs, told ET that the company is planning to start operations in Malaysia by November this year where it is tying up with one of the largest banks with several thousand merchants to start off. Pine currently handles 8,000 crore of volume with 40 million transactions a month.

"Currently 24% of the personal consumption spend in Malaysia is through digital and that figure is expected to go up to 35% in the next couple of years which makes it a high potential market," said Mehra.

He said despite being more digitally advanced as compared to India, terminals in Malaysia continue to run manually where any software update or any new offerings have to be manually updated ­ much like the way things were in India a couple of years ago. "We have put everything on the cloud, where the latest cashback offers, or EMI options or accounts and billing are updated in real time without any manual intervention," said Mehra.

After the launch, the company will be able to offer not just automated billing and account handling solutions, but also options such as buying with credit card on EMI, cashbacks, etc. "With a per capita income of $10,000, we believe that such options will be a great pull there."

He said there is a great opportunity in South East Asia since PoS terminals in most of the major markets continue to run manually. Mehra did not disclose the name of the bank since it has not been formally announced yet. The bank with which Pine is in discussions with has operations also in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand and soon in Vietnam.