Mobiles & Tablets

Mobile payment on Zomato’s plate next

Sangeetha Chengappa Bangalore | Updated on November 19, 2014

Debuting in Dubai, will hit India next year

Zomato, the popular food and discovery service that has established a global presence, is all set to launch a mobile payment app it has built over the last few months.

The app will be piloted in Dubai starting next month and will be rolled out in India in the March-May quarter of 2015.

“Dubai is the one of the best markets to pilot our mobile payment app as credit card usage is very strong there and the propensity to store credit cards on mobile phones is also high. More important, the user experience for payments on mobile phones is seamless in Dubai because there is no need for a two-step authentication process,” Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder and COO, Zomato, told BusinessLine.

“Once the pilot [launch] is over, we will get a better sense of what to expect when we roll it out in India,” he said. The app will allow users to pay directly for their restaurant dining from their mobile phones, without the hassle of having to ask for the bill and then paying.

Revenue streams

The payment app will open up a third revenue stream for Zomato, which has been growing at 300 per cent YoY [year-on-year] over the last three years.

Every time a user uses the mobile payment app, the company will get a share of the transaction value from the restaurant. At present, its revenue comes from restaurant advertisements and restaurant subscriptions for its recently launched Zomato for Business app.

“We have already received 1,200 subscriptions from restaurants in India within two months of launching the app, where they pay us $50 per month, per outlet. With this app, restaurant owners can upload real-time offers, discounts, and special menus to promote their restaurants on Zomato,” said Chaddah.

The company’s India and UAE operations are profitable,but the company is yet to become profitable overall, as it is investing aggressively in growth and consolidation.

Customising for markets

Zomato has tied up with the leading provider of online restaurant reservations in the UK, OpenTable, to allow users the option to search real-time availability of tables and instantly confirm restaurant reservations.

Asked why the service was offered only in the UK, Chaddah said: “We customise differently for different markets. In the UK, it is customary to make restaurant bookings online. Therefore, it was a natural step for us to take them from discovery to dining by providing table reservations. Similarly, in Turkey, people are early risers and the breakfast business is very big, so we focus on providing content on restaurants that offer breakfast options. ”

Zomato attracts 30 million visits on its web and mobile platforms every month and is present in 100 cities across India, UK, Canada, Lebanon, UAE, Turkey, New Zealand, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Africa, Philippines, Portugal, Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Qatar.

More than 50 per cent of traffic on Zomato is through its mobile app and this is growing at 30 per cent month-on-month.

“I see this going up to 70 per cent over the next 12-15 months. In the latest version of our Zomato mobile app, users can draw a circle on the map to find out restaurants in the circled area,” said Chaddah.

Published on November 19, 2014

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