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Microsoft keen to get bigger pie in payments bank segment

By Karan Choudhury
Last updated on: May 02, 2016 15:45 IST
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MicrosoftTo tap business opportunities that the proposed payments banks will bring in, global technology company Microsoft plans to offer back-end support to these players.

The company is in talks with some of these banks and hopeful of bagging projects.

Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik told Business Standard that a host of companies from various sectors, including banking financial services and insurance, health care, e-commerce are either being powered by Microsoft’s cloud platform or would soon come on board.

“We do plan to have customers from the upcoming payments bank segment.

It is not just the new payments bank but also existing banks which have all kinds of payment systems. The talks have already started with various clients.

Whether it is the new banks or payments bank, we are talking to everybody,” he said.

Microsoft plans to offer solutions around data, security applications and analytics, for handling the large number of small transactions which would be made via these banks.

“Microsoft offers analytics at a huge scale, machine intelligence capabilities and higher degrees of security.

BFSI customers who are used to having their own data centres, have for various reasons, whether it’s for capacity purposes or workload they have, actually chosen to come to Microsoft,” added Pramanik.

In August, 11 firms got the Reserve Bank of India’s in-principle approval to set up payments banks.

Of these, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company opted out in March.

The other 10 are a Reliance-SBI combine; Aditya Birla Nuvo (Idea Cellular); Airtel; Vodafone; Department of Posts; FINO PayTech; Tech Mahindra; National Securities Depository Ltd; Paytm; and Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi.

As far as Microsoft’s foray into the small and medium business space is concerned, the company said it had around 150,000 customers of which 50,000 SMBs were brought in the past two years alone.

Last year, the software giant launched a cloud adoption programme for SMBs in India called 'Cloud Solution Provider'.

SMBs can adopt value-added solutions and offerings supporting their specific requirements on the cloud through Microsoft CSP.

Microsoft's productivity offerings on cloud has been further integrated and strengthened with Windows 10 and Office 2016 features that boosts collaboration and efficiency of the workforce.

According to the company, its cloud service business has posted a healthy double-digit growth in the country.

The company recently collaborated with Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry to assist around 200,000 SMBs across Karnataka to adopt technology with cloud computing.

While, the company does not give country specific investment numbers, it has spent $15 billion on cloud computing over the last five years.

“Microsoft has 46 per cent market share as far as software-as-a-service is concerned.

Overall cloud share, which includes infrastructure platform and software, the company has about 30 per cent of the market share.

Our ambition is to get around 40 odd per cent by the next fiscal,” Pramanik added.

The company also caters to a long list of e-commerce clients which includes Snapdeal, Meru Cabs, Just Dial, Pepperfry on its cloud platform.

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Karan Choudhury in New Delhi
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