After a successful launch in Delhi, Easy Bill Ltd, a Hero Group company which facilitates bill payments, has decided to advance its foray into Mumbai and South India by nearly six months.
Buoyed by the success of the concept, the company is geared up to launch its services in Mumbai and Bangalore, almost simultaneously.
Speaking to media persons, Rahul Munjal, chief executive officer, Easy Bill Ltd, said, “By the end of this fiscal, we will be present in 500 retail outlets in Delhi. During the next fiscal, we will be present in seven other cities, covering nearly 2500 outlets. We aim to cover 5000 retail stores by the end of 2005-06. We continue to tie up with many grocery stores, departmental stores, chemists shops and petrol stations. We assure them a 30 per cent increase in their Return on Investment.”
In the last six months after launch in Delhi, Rs 40 crore worth of bills have been transacted through Easy Bill.
The company officials are confident that this figure will easily cross Rs 100 crore within the first year of operation. Easy Bill is present in one retail outlet per sq km at Delhi and will be present within the same range in other towns and cities.
In Mumbai, it will be located in two outlets per sq.km, owing to higher density of population. So far, Easy Bill has tied up with bill issuers like BSES, Tata Power, Hutch, AitTel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Infocomm among others.
According to Sandeep Vij, business head, Easy Bill Ltd, “We have invested about $ 3 million for our backbone in Delhi. We estimate an investment of $ 7 million for Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities in the South. In some cities, transactions involving electricity bills may include an additional payment of nearly Rs 8 per transaction. Mobile bills and telephone bills do not have any additional payment beyond the bill amount.”
A retailer has to pay a refundable deposit of Rs 50,000 and an additional one-time, non-refundable deposit of Rs 10,000. Easy Bill will provide him with the hardware which includes a barcode scanner.
Since a survey indicates that over 80 per cent of the customers prefer to pay their bills in cash, company officials say that Easy Bill will increase foot-falls at these retail stores.
The market size for bill payments is estimated to be 160 crore bill transactions annually across the country and is projected to touch 217 crore bill transactions in 2005.