Banking on a robust channel partner strategy

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Raj N Phani, Founder & Chairman, Zaggle
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Zaggle is a payments company working in the areas of financial tech, HR tech and bank tech. Raj N Phani, Founder & Chairman, Zaggle, says that fintech startups should have a strong focus on channel partners’ cooperation to increase success rates

Fintech startup Zaggle specialises in providing bespoke solutions to corporates and SMEs. Zaggle deploys deep tech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in the areas of expense management, employee reimbursements as well as for rewards and recognition.  “We are currently working with three banks RBL Bank, IndusInd and YES Bank and work closely with VISA, RuPay and MasterCard Networks to craft these solutions and to constantly innovate to bring value to our users,” says Raj N Phani, Founder & Chairman, Zaggle.

The startup designs proprietary tech platforms that connect corporate and consumer requirements with merchants who have the best-suited solutions for them. The word ‘Zaggle’ stands as an antidote to ‘Haggle’ and when customers started searching for a solution that would enable them to interact with the merchants while bringing them savings and experiences seamlessly, providing for limitless choices and flexibility.

“We are currently working with 3500+ businesses and corporates, 8500 merchants and about 4 million users,” says Phani.

The products are –

Zaggle Propel: An integrated rewards and engagement platform. Propel is an easy-to-use platform to manage a company’s employee and channel partner for rewards and engagement programs. Rewarding employees and partners for their achievements is essential to boost motivation and improve retention. Motivated employees and partners deliver 9x more value than others. Propel is a simple, easy-to-use system which can be used for employee and channel incentives alike.

Zaggle Save: The product helps in simplifying business payments through control and visibility over expenses. Zaggle’s all-in-one business spend management platform empowers businesses to spend smarter, therefore, saving time, money, thus resulting in happy and satisfied employees.

Zaggle is a payments company working in the areas of financial tech, HR tech and bank tech. “The most amazing part of HR tech is that it deals with people and mapping AI to HR has been one of the most challenging tasks we had. HR tech space has been waiting to be disrupted and rise above the basic payroll, L&D, appraisals to a fundamentally altering level of making a difference to the human resource. We found our sweet spot in work force performance management, the modelling we did using predictive analysis (AI) as to what could be the career growth of an individual post he joining the company is being appreciated by lot of our beta clients and we hope to soon release it in the main phase. Security is hygiene and without that no company would want to even look at your tool,” says Phani.

Speaking about the key features of deep tech and AI solutions, Phani states, “Our business in one single line is we have prepaid cards+ software = platform. With the help of AI and deep tech, we started off with digitising rewards and recognition, channel incentive and incentivisation programs. From there we have gone into expense management and from there we are going towards Open Banking wherein we have kept a single rack and through that rack you can build as many pieces as you want. So, what we are currently doing is bring all accounting to one place through a single interface. ”

Channel partner strategy

Zaggle has always had a very robust channel partner strategy. “We have created an API Bank for all our products (Reward and Recognition Software, Channel Incentive Platform, Expense Management Platform, Open Banking Platform). We have over 200 plus API’s which any partner can plug into his product and sell the solution to his client. We have a White Labelled Solution for other markets and we also give the ability to partners to private label it in their name and sell our solution. Today we have more than 40 plus partners selling our solution and we will continue to grow the business through partners, today 20 per cent of our business comes from partners but we hope to triple our partners and grow the percentage to 50 per cent,” informs Phani.

For prepaid card offerings, the company has physical distributors across India to whom it offers both the physical and virtual cards. “We will continue to expand the channel partner business and have more than 150 plus distributors and about 60 per cent of our business comes through distributors or channel partners,” he mentions.

Speaking about how fintech startups can leverage the channel network across India, Phani remarks that it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to sell one product in one place, necessitating channel partners’ cooperation to increase success rates.

“Startups should ensure that they do careful analysis of the channel partners in terms of current products sold, the products of competitors, and the markets where they apply. The analysis must be thorough, technical, and compare hard market data to find the right partner,” he points out.

Future plans include opening offices in the UK and Canada. “We are currently working with multiple channel partners and affiliates globally. Since Zaggle Products are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), you don’t need to install anything on your device and neither do you need any special equipment or specialists to use it. Both the maintenance and updates are performed on the host side and are invisible to the user,” informs Phani.

The company has received several recognitions including Best Prepaid Card of the Year at the Payments and Cards Summit, 2019; Best B2B Enterprise for Zaggle SAVE at the HYSEA Innovation Summit, 2019; Best IT Company at the HMTV Business Excellence Awards, 2019; Best Prepaid Card Solution at the IAMAI Indian Digital Forum, Jan 2019; Best Growth Strategy Award at the Ascent Awards, 2017; Best Service Provider at the Bayer Awards, 2016. Recently, Zaggle was also been chosen to be part of Microsoft’s 100X100X100 program.


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