India’s leading indigenous payment technology company
Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd (EPS) was founded in 2011 with a profound vision of emerging as a leading provider of payment technology solutions to banking and financial institutes. In the last ten years of journey, it has truly emerged as a payment technology services company that provides full-spectrum solutions across the payments value chain, with a footprint of 11,000 ATMs across India and. Its solutions include end-to-end ATM outsourcing services, ATM managed service, transaction processing across RBI as well as NPCI-backed payment systems, reconciliation, and fraud risk management.
Headquartered in Mumbai, Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd was launched to bridge the gap in demand for efficient, secure, and technology-driven products and services for the banking industry. Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd is backed by prolific investors from the financial services and payments space with having an eminent board of directors and advisors including top executives of RBI, NPCI, and PSU banks.
In a talk with Mani Mamallan, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Electronic Payment & Services Pvt Ltd (EPS), let’s discover more about the company and its journey since its inception.
What were the initial challenges you faced?
The major challenge was – Initial capital, timely completion of project with safe and secure technology advancements, having the right people in the team, and gaining trust factor in the ecosystem. After bagging to set up around 5,500 ATMs in the country in 2011, we faced the biggest challenge of raising funds to fulfil the projects. However, I managed it through withdrawing his life’s savings combined with pawning my wife’s jewellery and borrowing from friends.
My wife stood strong with me in all my efforts to make Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd a niche in payment technology domain. We quintessentially did every possible thing to raise funds and managed to get a small shop of 6 x 6 ft that got converted into an office. Initially, I and my wife Vidya spent sleepless nights planning the first project execution.
Along with funding, it was a concern for Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd on how to scale up the operations and achieve a license and services model to provide value-added services. That got settled with inducting payments technology professionals like – Manohar Bhoi, who set up the technical processes in helping to deploy all ATMs in record time.
The trust came with timely submission and seamless technical support. After the first 6-8 months, when the entire setup was ready, and it was completely ready to deploy more ATMs for banks. Things started falling in line and then it could deploy more ATMs on the ground and earn more revenue and the trend continued till now. Today, our portfolio of offerings has expanded beyond ATM Services and includes solutions in the space of digital payments.
Which was that point that triggered the growth of the Electronic Payment and Services?
Despite being a start-up, Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd turned out to be one of the top performers of the Ministry of Finance project of setting up ATMs across the country. Within a year after bagging the project in 2011, Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd was the first one to deploy the live ATM among all the vendors and set a record for deploying 1,000 ATMs in 60 days. The total number of ATMs deployed shoot up by 10 times from 460 in FY 2013 to 4842 ATMs in FY 16. That helped the revenues jumped from Rs 8 Cr to Rs 170 Cr in three financial years.
How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?
What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?
It’s our people, who are constantly steering ahead of the performance, which is led by experienced leadership and largely fuelled the customer trust. Fair business practices, maintaining transparency and sustained governance, strong compliance, professional enhancement, and caring for the society stand firm for Electronic Payment and Services since its foundation. At Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd, aim to accomplish the stature of an organization that people can trust.
What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd is India’s leading indigenous payment technology company and since its inception, it has serviced almost all leading Public Sector Banks. In the last 10 years, Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd has been established a leadership position as an ATM transaction processor.
Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd has automated the ATM service delivery to drive operations excellence and predictability through the EPSTAR suite of solutions. The solutions help to automate key areas of ATM Management such as incident management, cash management, reconciliation management, and Electronic Journal pulling etc.
Financial inclusion is one of the driving forces. Soon, we plan to enter the business of deploying white label ATMs and micro-ATMs in the semi-urban and rural areas to address the need for cash in such areas.
This apart, we have digital payments service
- EFT Switching: Acquire, process, clear and settle credit and debit card payment transactions from ATM, POS, and e-Commerce across any network in real-time.
- Transaction switching: NPCI backed channels such as UPI, IMPS, NETC, BPPS and RBI backed channels such as NEFT and RTGS
- Enterprise Fraud Risk Management: Reduces risks across all payment channels due to ever-increasing fraud sophistication.
- Enterprise Reconciliation Management: Reduces financial slippages due to deficient reconciliation across all payment channels.
Our end-to-end offerings, combined with flexible engagement models, helped us stand out in the eyes of our long-standing customers.
How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd recognizes that conventional banking business models are becoming obsolete due to the accelerated adoption of new-age technologies, changing demographics, and entry of fintech. Banks, therefore, need to have an agile and open architecture that supports new business models such as banking-as-a-service, banking as a platform, etc. Keeping this in mind Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd has designed a framework for a new-age payments platform, which supports open standards, open-source technologies and is ready for open innovation.
The framework is compatible with the Banks evolving architecture and supports emerging business models. It aims to integrate all the customer-facing channels as well as back-office applications such as Core Banking System, Enterprise Reconciliation System, Fraud Risk Management. Deploying the unified payments platform will help Banks to deliver a superior payments experience, on account of real-time reconciliation, improved transaction velocity, lesser customer disputes and reduced fraud risk.
Digital financial inclusion is one of the driving forces. Soon, we plan to enter the business of deploying white label ATMs and micro-ATMs in the semi-urban and rural areas to address the need for cash in such areas.
How has the technology transformed traditional way of business?
Technology has made banking convenient, and the future of the banking sector seems to be going increasingly digital. Today’s digital age and hyper-connected environment require banks to continuously reimagine their business.
Digital technologies such as machine learning and AI, big data analytics, robotic process automation, blockchain, voice-activated chatbots, and internet of things, are becoming the business drivers. This has fostered the partnership between Banks and fintechs to introduce new business models that are focused on providing personalised services and superior customer experience.
What do you think are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur, who is essentially looking out to create something new and valuable, needs to look after its people, managing relationships with investors and customers in a balanced manner. What is more important in today’s times is to promote and practice humanity and encouraging sustainable development at every stage of life through constant rigor of innovation, leadership, and disruption. One must build inherent capacity to face crises with humility and courage, and always maintain strong compliance and governance in the organization.
How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?
Last year, immediately after the complete lockdown announcement due to coronavirus, the ATM business like any other business was hit badly due to sluggish economic activity.
But Electronic Payment and Services have always believed that people are the single most important asset and implemented human-bound resources with immediate implementation including no salary cut for employees, no delay in salaries, and no workforce reduction. No stopping of payments to our vendors and partners. We had provided work-from-home arrangements for all employees, even a week before the first lockdown was announced.
The topmost priority for us was to vaccinate employees plus their families with immediate effect and then with the help of organizing one of the biggest in-house vaccination camps, we had vaccinated our not only our employees and their families, but also the employees of our partners, vendors, and other Electronic Payment and Services Pvt Ltd associates without taking any charges.
Electronic Payment and Services believe– “this too shall pass, but humankind needs to preserve with best efforts during these pandemic times”. Our team had created a corpus fund for employees who got infected of Corona or needed financial support over and above of their medical insurance. A special Covid in-house team was formed to take care of employees during the second wave who helped in providing oxygen cylinders, doctors, medical emergencies, medicines, or mental health experts to the needy employees.
Daily, a dedicated team used to call our employees and their families to check on employee’s/families’ health and provide guidance and mental support. Our employees have contributed their best during this lockdown period, along with managing their homes and families. These challenging times have made all of us humbler, resilient, and organized towards humanity. EPS team has truly demonstrated how being together can make us stronger and agile.
Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?
Ever since we have delivered our first ATM project in 2012 with enthusiasm and perfection, our clients who include India’s large Banks have throughout appreciated our team spirit, which we have maintained all these years. Our customers have respected our philosophy that is founded upon a rich legacy of fair, ethical, and transparent governance practices which oversees business strategies and ensures fiscal accountability, ethical corporate behaviour, and fairness to all stakeholders comprising of regulators, employees, customers, vendors, investors, and the society at large.
According to you, what are the basic factors that businesses in the digital landscape should focus on to get better results?
Adoption of digital techniques and analytics to make better, quicker, and smarter decisions that improve business performance and manage risks to provide the best possible customer services. Through customized solutions and real-time assurance, one must focus on reducing frauds and chargebacks.
Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views.
It’s a need, for sure, in today’s digital payments arena as the space is growing with so much rapid innovation that frauds are inevitable, hence constant vigilance is the key to sustain the business and gain customer confidence.
How have you helped the ecosystem during Covid times?
We understood that our partners needed our support and so we had extended our Response ATM service solution, which used to be a premium one, to our partners during Covid times at no cost.
Also, it was the weirdest challenge for us as how to support our partners and industry players, other than providing technology and financial assistance during pandemic times. More than that we felt it was our responsibility to create a meaningful solution for the ecosystem, where most players can be largely benefited.
Being sensitivity to the uncertainty that prevailed during the pandemic, we had created a “knowledge-based webinar platform”- #BusinessBankingDialogue for the banking and financial sector and requested the country’s visionary leaders and thinkers to share their key insights for the road ahead to all. This initiative witnessed 150+ sessions to date, where 100+ speakers, 75000+ participants, and 2 million+ digital impressions participated.
What are your Future Plans?
Electronic Payment and Services have completed 10 years of proven journey and now we wish to look ahead for global expansion plans, which may demonstrate nominees strategic thinking and planning skills, with specific emphasis on future vision, fundraising, diversification, geographical expansion, organic and inorganic growth, and investment R&D expenditure. Adoption of digital techniques and analytics to make better, quicker, and smarter decisions that improve business performance and manage risks are what we would be looking at closely.
Know the leader
Mani Mamallan is the Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Electronic Payment & Services Pvt Ltd (EPS). With a vision ‘to be the leading technology solutions provider across channels in the retail banking and payments system segment’, he along with his wife Vidya Mamallan founded EPS in 2011. Before founding Electronic Payment and Services, Mani spearheaded a set of crucial payment projects for the country, through his three-decade of rich experience gained in developing technologies and services around Payment Systems, Retail Banking, Organization Development, Banking Outsourcing, and shared networks.
His expertise in the digital payment industry led him to achieve benchmark projects. Since 1996, Mani has been associated with the ATM industry, when he deployed the first seven ATMs for UTI Bank. His achievements at UTI bank included setting up the bank’s ATM Switch, IP Network, etc. In 1998, he switched his career from banking to non-banking and joined a company known as India Switch Company (ISC) as Chief Operating Officer (COO), which was then setting up an ATM network for all the banks together.
Mani was highly instrumental in initiating and implementing Swadhan, the first shared payment network in India, promoted by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) for their member banks. During his stewardship, the company’s network grew from 30 ATMs to 1,300 ATMs at a time when the country hardly had 2,000 ATMs in 2003.
He later moved on to Financial Software and Systems (FSS) in 2004. During his stint, he spearheaded activities in the payments systems domain and set up FSSNeT, which was the outsourcing wing of FSS.
In 2007, he joined as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) in C-Edge Technologies, which was a JV between SBI and TCS, where he conceptualized the implementation of a revolutionary transaction-based – ‘ATM Outsourcing Model’ and worked till 2010, before he founded EPS in next year.
Having started his career as a banking officer in Punjab National Bank in the early ’80s, he has come a long way to establish himself as one of the coveted entrepreneurs in the country. Since his banking days, he has had this quest to fathom in technologies or developing systems for the banking industry to make the processes safer, easier, and faster. What just started with a small idea to set up an ATM services firm is now blossoming out into a new-age Payments system company with a revenue of above Rs 350 crore that is aiming towards processing various contemporary banking operations with a futuristic approach.
The Key Achievements
Mani Mamallan revolutionized the Indian ATM industry by introducing a transaction-based ATM outsourcing business model for Brown Label ATMs. Under his leadership, EPS installed the 1st live ATM in Mumbai under India’s Ministry of Finance Financial Inclusion Project (2012 – 2014).
EPS launched a state-of-the-art ATM Managed Services Centre for 24×7 ATM monitoring and value-added services for banks in 2014. He has been acknowledged as ‘The Architect behind Indian ATM Systems’ and honored with the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2015’ award by Silicon India, whereas EPS received the ‘Best ATM Managed Services Provider’ award at Payment & Cards Awards 2016, India. EPS was the 1st Board Member (India Chapter) of the global ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) in 2015 and Mani Mamallan was elected as the international ‘ATM Industry Champion’ from India, by ATMIA in April 2016.
Electronic Payment and Services received the ‘ATM Consultant of the Year 2015’ award by Consultants Review, India, and was recognized with the ‘Best ATM Services Provider 2015’ award at Financial Inclusion & Payment Systems (FIPS) Conference & Awards, India.
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