Puneet SinghNew Delhi/Mumbai, August 9th, 2023: Ahead of India’s 77th Independence Day, Simpl, India’s foremost Checkout Network, today announced its vision to eliminate Cash on Delivery in e-commerce by 2028 in order to reduce merchant losses and fastrack the industry’s journey towards profitability. As part of this vision, Simpl has introduced an Artificial Intelligence-enabled Checkout Suite to eliminate cash on delivery for its rapidly expanding merchant universe over the next five years. The company aims to achieve this vision by working with ecosystem partners and through its industry-first innovations including Pay After Delivery and Return-to-Origin (RTO) intelligence among other AI-led offerings.

As part of the offering, Simpl has developed industry-first capabilities including Pay After Delivery which allows merchants to block the amount of transaction from the user’s account limit and complete the payment after verified delivery. Its state-of-the-art return-to-origin (RTO) intelligence enables merchants to determine whether to show a CoD option based on user behavior at the time of checkout. This will help significantly reduce returns and frauds which drain merchants’ finances. In addition to the above, the suite offers Address Intelligence to help merchants understand the quality of the address and identify any risks associated with it. The suite will soon be integrated with UPI Block and Debit which blocks the money via UPI at the time of placing the order and triggers a transaction after the delivery of the product to help merchants build trust with the consumers.

Eliminating cash on delivery assumes significance as it accounts for nearly 60% of all online transactions in India mainly due to a lack of trust in merchants by customers and this becomes significantly high for emerging merchants. Here, about 20% of all CoD orders face return-to-origin problems as there is no obligation on the customer to accept an order as they are not invested in the transaction. This results in losses for merchants as they have to pay a fee to service providers delivering CoD orders and for the return of products, thereby impacting their bottom line. Industry estimates suggest the total CoD order losses for merchants selling online stand to the tune of $6-7 Billion annually. With Simpl’s Checkout Suite, merchants will be able to build trust with consumers, reduce returns and reduce losses, thereby fast-tracking their journey to profitability.

Several small and large enterprise merchants with millions of customers have recently integrated with the Checkout Suite, a testament to its effectiveness in solving merchants’ pain points. Among the early adopters, there has been as high as 30% migration of Cash on Delivery users to prepaid in early results. User surveys also show that Pay After Delivery delivers a superior user experience when compared to other instruments.

Commenting on the introduction of Checkout Suite, Puneet Singh, Chief Technology Officer at Simpl said, “Indian consumers have shown a strong affection for Cash on Delivery with nearly 6 out of every 10 customers opting for this convenient payment mode. The growth of India’s e-commerce industry also goes hand in hand with the success of CoD. However, the merchants are struggling with high costs, RTO losses, and onerous working capital requirements due to CoD, leading to losses. As a merchant-focused organisation, we are committed to solving their nuanced pain points through our state-of-the-art AI-powered solutions. In this endeavor, we have developed a Checkout Suite as part of our vision to eliminate cash on delivery in e-commerce by 2028. Using data science models, our APIs, and industry-first pay-after-delivery solutions will help merchants reduce losses from CoD orders and returns, thereby helping build profitable and sustainable businesses”.

These solutions become important as lakhs of merchants are going online to meet the evolving requirements of millions of consumers across the country. A report on India’s e-retail market by Bain & Company estimated the market size to increase to $150–$170 billion on annual growth of 25%-30% and a doubling of market penetration to 9-10% by 2027.

Simple, which is the preferred checkout partner for over 26,000 merchants, has over the last several years developed and strengthened its artificial intelligence-powered technology platform which powers consumers’ checkout journey seamlessly and helps merchants improve their conversions while reducing returns and CoD. The company’s 1-tap pay and state-of-the-art Checkout Network have already made a significant impact in the lives of consumers and merchants and the Checkout Suite is further expanding Simpl’s bouquet of offerings to bring merchant and consumer delight.

By Sujata