MissCallPay is a payment platform enabling India to go cashless, thus making mobile payments simpler for the masses who are not tech savvy
MissCallPay is India's first voice-based payment Fintech start-up running on UPI. It is headquartered in Bhuj-Kutch Gujarat and has business operations in Mumbai. It aims to bring convenient solutions to Bharat’s population and boost digital payments on feature phones.
MissCallPay is bringing voice-based digital payment solutions to the rural and urban under-served population of India, who largely use feature phones or are digitally illiterate. Users can transact in their local language, can initiate payments remotely by just giving a missed call. The highlight of this payment solution is one can take assistance from anyone without worrying about security. It’s a true innovation that adapts to user behaviour rather than users adapting to innovation.
Mitesh Thakker, Founder of MissCallPay, comes from a humble family background. His father was a street vendor in busy by lanes of Bhuleshwar and also worked as a taxi driver to make his ends meet. Later he started his own textile business which now employs 300+ people. Mitesh was inspired by his father’s story. With regards to his education, he is an MBA graduate from SP Jain and has done his product management training from Blackbolt Consulting USA.
The idea of MissCallPay came in the year January 2017 after the demonetization when Mitesh was traveling to his native village in the Kutch district of Gujarat. At that time, there was chaos with people standing in serpentine queues outside banks and ATM’s. He thought that there should be a product or solution which should solve the problem of people standing in queues. A few days later he attended the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, and got a clarion call listening to the motivational speech of PM Modi. Thus, he decided to take a plunge into the Fintech space. He realized that financial inclusion without a payment solution that works without the Internet or smartphone is going to be a challenge in India, but they worked on the product using awarded patents and thus MissCallPay was born.
There are many challenges when you start a start-up from talent to raising capital to acceptance in the market. The major challenge was a new authentication method to make MissCallPay a reality, needed to be cleared for payments. The product required the attention of bureaucrats whose priorities were altogether different as UPI was launched. In 2019, the number of UPI payments users plateaued and adoption was limited only to affluent uber class & excluding the underserved categories. Thus, looking at the statistics, government decided to prioritize on underserved categories and thus RBI announced its first cohort, Regulatory Sandbox, for feature-phone payment solutions.
In spite of this innovation, Mitesh got disqualified as it didn't fulfil the minimum net worth requirement for RBI Regulatory Sandbox applicants which was another roadblock.
“Dejected by not being included in RBI's Regulatory Sand-box for feature phone payments, I looked at African markets to launch this solution. But luckily, I came across Bill Gates' Grand Challenge announcement for feature phone payments with 1 lakh US Dollars Prize money for 3 winners. This participation gave a ray of hope. I won the challenge and saw a final opportunity to make the MissCallPay idea see the light of the day in India. My participation and winning the Bill Gates' Grand Challenge amidst the 750 challengers around the globe gave me the recognition I needed,” said Mitesh about how he overcame those hurdles.
They are planning to commercialize the launch in October and they are already in talks with banks to launch the 1st voice-based payment solution for Bharat segment. They are building a strong leadership team for successful execution and plan to work / partner with a couple of banks to help them serve more than 100 million users by the end of the year 2022.
MissCallPay is the only player which is using the miss call feature for Indian population. This payment solution is catering largely the feature phone users, digitally illiterate, and where internet penetration is low. This feature can also be used by the urban population where internet connection is slow.
His view on the start-up community in India is, “The pace of the start-up ecosystem is increasing every year and despite the pandemic, we have seen start-ups rallied steadily. It is also a pride to know that we are the third largest start-up ecosystem followed by the USA & China. In the last few years, many Indian start-ups are entering the unicorn club with a valuation of USD 1 Billion or more.
All these successes lead to positive growth and potential. This shows India is taking the right steps towards providing an environment so that start-ups thrive and prosper.”
Mitesh, advice for young entrepreneurs and upcoming start-ups advised, “Have patience, don’t quit. Keep on re-validating your idea, keep evolving and say “Aapna Time Aayega”. Patience, perseverance, and persistence are the things required for start-ups to see the light of the day. Also look at the entrepreneur DNA while building a founding team.”
You can check out MissCallPay at: Misscallpay.com