Archive for January 3rd, 2007

Payment Gateway India – Which service provider to select for your website

In india when we talk about payment gateways or run search in google. Their are generally 2-3 names comes up with most prominent being of CCAvenues which has spends lot of money on search engine optimization and for you to go forward and select their services. Now first you need to understand their is difference between CCavenues and actually bank.

CCAvenues is just a business service provider who has taken payment gateway services of ICICI Bank and CitiBank and further sub-source it to merchants. Generally taking services directly from banks require lot of initial investment which is where its advantageous to use provider like CCAvenues. Though percentage paid per transaction is almost double as compared to banks service.On an average bank charges 2% per transaction and an account keeping fees of INR 5000 if transactions worth 1L is not achieved per month. One time installation and setup fees vary between INR 25,000-75,000 and you also need to provide bank guarantee of around 1L depending on which bank you select.

If you envision sale volume of atleast 10 Lakh per year than it make more sense to go in for your own payment gateway. If you feel it will be < 10 L than you should look at providers like CCAvenues and Transecute. These  service providers charge somewhere between 4-7% per transaction with inital setup fees ranging between 7500-30,000 INR. Advantage with CCAvenues they also offer NetBanking acceptance to accept Debit Cards which is a good thing not available in ICICI bank payment gateway.

If you are still facing problem in deciding which service provider to contact or facing problem with your existing service provider contact Cyberica Net Technologies Pvt. Ltd with 6 years experience in payment gateway integration and operation and these days having me at technical helm would surely be an advantage for your online strategy and business.

Disclosure : The above is not an advertisement for Cyberica services as the knowledge discussed is based on my experience working at projects for cyberica need to give due credit to organization and its skills. Sold – New Owners Aditya Birla Retail

A.V Birla group has brought the principal owners of – Trinethra retail chain. The retail chain is based in South India with pressence across Andhra Pradesh, Karnatka and Tamil Naidu. The offline venture concetrated on grocery and super market format. The online pressence projects itself as e-commerce platform providing dealers of items to host stores and share per sale item cost with Group revenue is approx 250 crores prior to fabmall acquisation in 2004 group revenue stood at approx 150 crore.

As compared to North India, south india has been more mature and seen concept of retail hyper markets. This also answers question why realiance started from Hyderbad instead of mumbai or delhi. What it changes for i dont expect much as at time of earlier acquisation offline 12 stores were the major source of attraction for acquisation. Over the years not much has changed for the online store operations though revenues have seriously scaled up. Its example of how effective online shopping sites can be without backing of a retail venture.

Uttranchal Government – CSC on Internet –

In india currently uttranchal is leading the path of computerization and use of technology for implementing of e-governance charter. In 2006 Ministry of Information Technology came up with a scheme where via Public private partnership state government and their level and central government at their level will setup Intranet/WAN for nationwide connectivity for fulfilling infrastructure requirements for running E-governance applications. Once the WAN has been deployed government wishes to open CSC (Consumer Service Centers) across districts and villages for enabling access to government services to comman man. The idea was government services will reach consumers and private companies will get footfall and access to local consumer base for pushing their other products. So the value proposition was in favor of big telecom players like Reliance or Tata.  Now another initative which uttranchal government took was setting up of an online portal for making available these similar services online and via kiosks. For this district haridwar was selected. The software was to be provided by Microsoft and server technology by Intel.

Now the portal is ready (the Document said 7th December i think it date back to 2004)with the latest features providing information as well as dynamic applications like hotel reservations etc. The problem for government is how to generate revenues for sustaining the portal.  The government has invited RFP from service providers to run and manage the portal helping government generate revenues by selling advertisement space etc.  Now an organization which can take advantage would be travel portal. But before doing that they need to calculate number of services/tourist potential of destination.

I am trying to find out more about the project by contacting UDA-IT once through will surely make another post.

Travel Business and new Technologies – How to take advantage

Every blog i have read in recent times have critized the google acquisation of youtube. But from google perspective i believe they are doing right. As we all since medivial ages(post 2000) have been talking on content being the king. Keeping this mind with increasing broadband penetration around the world video is the next frontier for the web. Where Web will actually fight with TV for user attention. For google to become the operation system of internet they need to control all user entry path to the system. Simple terms what commercial interest google has is still not very obivous and requires guessing.

But lets look at what as an indian online company can we take advantage of things like youtube. Lets take an example of an inbound travel agency. Travel agencies were one of the few people in the industry to adapt to internet for generation of sales and business pressence. In india organizations like intermesh grew into field of web designing and search optimization by servicing hundreds of these operators. After years of money spent talking to travel/tour operators reveal they are not able to generate revenue they had thought being on the first page of a keyword search would actually return.

Reason :  For a person comming via search engine as they dont know travel agent/brand name its only the price value the differentiation factor. As all travel agents/ tour operator websites talk about same travel iteniary and all its very difficult for potential customer to differentiate.

So how can you help customers make informed decision and increase sales by not fighting on price by quality factors

1) Toll Free 24 hours customer care. Getting 1-800 is not a big expense these days and hiring a person in india would cost less than 300$ per month to man the phones 24  hours.

2) At a cost of $100-150 per video start making 3-5 minutes videos on destinations/tours  you as an agent run. Host these videos on your site and share them on sites like youtube as free travelogue branded with your contact details plan and information. Also upload it to travel 2.0 portals for users to benefit. You will see sudden increase in number of leads generated not fighting on price issue as people believe what they see.

3) Answer questions on travel forums and advice people on destinations etc.

4) Social networking join clubs of your interest and declare your proffesion and request people to ask you questions. This way you build trust and name.

These are few ways for travel business specialist to take advantage of the internet and keep in compeition with big players.

Indigo Consulting to revamp Transindus Travel Portal

Transindus known for its specialist inbound tours to india and south east asia is the latest one to work on harnessing the power of internet to derieve further customer and have better hits to sale conversion rate. Currently portal is static in nature and provides destination information and travel plans.

With the new travel portal transindus should be able to increase its brand visibilty and with right tools integrated will be  able to collabrate with other travel 2.0 portals. But lets wait for indigo consulting to answer more in terms of actual work which will be visible in couple of months in regard to what strategy do they wish to follow.

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January 2007