BENGALURU: Global financial services firm, American Express has roped in 80,000 small merchants for its 2021 Shop Small inititiave, which will be live till October 31.
Manoj Adlakha, Senior Vice President and CEO, Amex Banking Corp India, India told The New Indian Express in an exclusive interaction that the financial services corporation is bullish on the Indian market, especially in the fintech space despite the COVID second wave denting consumer spending. "We see spending back on the track and this will be translated into aggressive growth across the payments system," Adlakha said.
Amex, which was temporarily banned by the Reserve Bank of India from issuing new cards to Indian customers over data localization norms compliance, has from 7 August partially resumed its business by onboarding new merchants to service its existing customers in India.
With festive season in India around the corner, the number of merchants being supported this year is 2x compared to 2020 ( 40,000), a move aimed to incentivize consumer spending at small businesses and help them recover from the impact of pandemic.
At a time when its rival, Citibank has announced exit from Indian markets, Amex is focused on expanding its operations in India.
"This year, we are providing 50 per cent cashback offers to card holders throughout our Shop Small campaign limited to five transactions in-store. This will be implemented across cities like Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad covering supermarkets, retail shops, healthcare services, bakeries, beauty salons, travel and utilities, electronics, restaurants, and hotels," Adlakha added.
The senior executive pointed out that the company recently conducted a survey in collaboration with the YouGov, a market research firm to asees the SMe sentiments on the COVID relief measures announced by the Indian government.
Cashless payments, new delivery methods, increased efforts to advertise, and in-store safetymeasures and hygiene have become critical for consumer trust and business continuity. Byadopting such measures, the report cites that 64 percent of the small merchants are confident that their businesses will survive amid speculations of COVID-19's third wave.
"They have constantly invested in new ways to improve their business model and communication with the customers. This fact is also recognized by 82 per cent of surveyed customers who stated that local shops and small businesses (LSSBs) established new ways of interacting with them which werenot available pre-pandemic," said Adlakha.