Building the future of business banking @ Razorpay
A brief overview of my current work at Razorpay.
Razorpay is India’s newest entrant into the unicorn club. It is one of those startups whose name is more popular than the category itself. As of today, the term Razorpay is more popular than the term Payment gateway according to google trends.
I joined Razorpay a bit over 8 months ago and it has been a whirlwind experience so far in terms of the kind of projects and initiatives I have been a part of and the kind of diverse problems we are trying to solve.
Simply put, Razorpay’s aim is to streamline financial experiences for all businesses. The organisation started off on the receivables side with the Payment Gateway and has moved into the payables and credit categories recently.
RazorpayX is a business banking hub intended to cater to the payables side of business needs. The term neo-bank is often used to refer to this category of products.
Since joining RazorpayX as a Lead product designer, I have taken the responsibility for the following pods. As most of these projects are still in progress, I will refrain from sharing specific details of the projects and project artefacts at this point in time.
User research framework for RazorpayX
RazorpayX is still a product in the zero to one stage and we pretty much act like a startup inside Razorpay. As with any zero to one product, we have gaps in multiple areas. We are trying to quickly validate hypotheses and form informed opinions about the product, market, and user needs.
However, being a B2B product taking its baby steps, we do not have the luxury of a high volume of users to quickly and constantly validate the hypotheses we have on various fronts.
We are constantly trying to understand and better:
- Issues with our current product (Design)
- Gaps in the financial product ecosystem (Product)
- The ideal pitch for RazorpayX (Product positioning)
- Distribution channels for the product (Growth)
To understand all these, access to users is a necessity. However, the problems are two-fold:
- As a B2B product, access to the users is not as readily available as in the case of a B2C product.
- The breadth of businesses in India is incredibly huge.
I am working towards the creation of a framework that allows us quick access to users and insights on all the aforementioned fronts. This is being done by creating a proactive group of users from all user cohorts and constantly engaging them with new features and offerings we are in the process of creating and gathering feedback. We are experimenting with different channels for different type of feedback collection activities.
Vendor payments is a sub-product of RazorpayX. It allows users to upload their payable invoices and make payouts against them while seamlessly managing the TDS component on these vendor invoices.
However, for most businesses, uploading invoices is a duplicate task as there is an overlap of this task with the accounting tool. Another major problem businesses face is that of reconciliation of their bank statement with the invoices that are recorded on the accounting tool.
Accounting payouts aims to solve this problem by providing RazorpayX users the ease of automatically syncing their invoices with the 3 accounting tools that cater to 90% of the market: Tally, ZohoBooks, and QuickBooks. In addition, when a payout is done, the reconciliation process is automated as RazorpayX syncs back the UTR number of the payout transaction back to the accounting tool; thereby saving hours of manual effort for businesses and finance teams.
Our Quickbooks integration is available for Early access, while integrations with Tally and ZohoBooks are underway and will be out in the market soon.
Opfin / RazorpayX Payroll
Opfin / RazorpayX Payroll is a payroll product targeted at small businesses in India. It allows a business owner to completely automate multiple aspects of their payroll and allows them to focus their precious time on growing their business.
RazorpayX Payroll allows a business owner to:
- Manage and automate payroll
- Automate compliance payments w.r.t payroll
- Manage employee leaves and attendance
- Manage employees
- Insure employees in a group health policy
Opfin was a startup that was acquired by Razorpay to be a part of the RazorpayX offering and to take care of the B2B2E sector of payables. As of now, Opfin is a standalone solution and is not completely integrated with the RazorpayX ecosystem.
With Opfin, we are focusing primarily on:
- Reskinning and Rebranding Opfin to RazorpayX Payroll.
- Integrating the product into the RazorpayX ecosystem.
- Adding a stress-free insurance solution.
- Adding more growth levers to the Product.
As a product, Opfin follows a very simple pricing model and is optimal for startup owners due to the balance it strikes in automating payroll functions and at the same time offering an unparalleled degree of flexibility to the business owner to deal with the myriad of use cases that the problem of payroll and insurance brings.
Payout links is a unique product inside the RazorpayX ecosystem that solves the problem of E-commerce COD refunds and deposit refunds for businesses. COD or Cash on delivery is the primary mode of payment for many customers in India.
However, cash on delivery brings a lot of operations problems for a businesses as the management and logistics of refunds and partial refunds for such orders is an arduous task.
Payout links simplify this and leverage a user’s available parameters like phone number and e-mail ID to facilitate a quick and seamless refund. Once a payout link is created for a certain amount, a link is triggered to the end user’s phone number and E-mail ID. Upon opening this link, users can enter their preferred bank account / UPI details and claim the refund instantly.
The problems we are currently solving on Payout links front are:
- Bulk Payout links
- Integration with E-commerce management platforms like Shopify
- Better positioning of the product
- Identifying new growth levers for the product.
Working on such a diverse range of projects and with insanely talented people at RazorpayX has given me what I’d like to think of as a period of hyper learning.
Some of the major learnings here have been:
Effort vs Impact estimations
Effort vs impact estimations are every when it comes to taking product decisions and placing items on a product roadmap. But at Razorpay, I have learnt to take a much more holistic perspective at these by factoring in a growth and reach perspective in addition to a product and design perspective which I practised earlier. This resulted in a more structured framework and a more regulated gateway for a requirement to make its way to the product roadmap.
Collaboration with Engineering
Razorpay is truly unique among the startups I have worked with as they take a systems approach to engineering product. This sometimes flies against the product driven notion of shipping fast. Communication with engineering and ensuring knowledge transfer of engineering processes and components and dataflow ensures that product people at Razorpay arrive at systemically more sustainable product decisions that are also implemented quickly.
A more holistic approach to an MVP
An MVP is often the quickest, most valuable release into the market which validates certain hypotheses about a user segement or a market need. At Razorpay, I have learnt to factor in product, business and engineering perspectives to approaching the MVP of a product. This often meant taking radically different routes to achieving the ends and exercise the muscle of thinking constantly out of the box. A thorough understanding of engineering frameworks being used and their effort estimates allowed our team to move with alternative solutions at many occasions.
One size does NOT fit all
As designers, we idolise the many variants available in the market of the famed “design process”. Razorpay has made me completely disregard this notion and structure the process to every project based on the multiple parameters influencing the growth, product and business aspects of the user need itself. The challenges of designing and scaling a zero to one product are completely different from that of an established product. On the other side, the challenges presented by an integration prospect are also completely different to that posed by a new, indigenous product offering which is an addition to the already existing platform. These challenges, coupled with the accepted concept of an MVP we as a team agreed on often dictated processes that needed to be established for quick learning and validation.
Communication with peers, Constantly improving processes
I’m surprised at how infrequently 1:1s happened in my previous organisations to the point it makes me wonder why they didn’t happen at all in the first place. At Razorpay, improving processes are a part of everyday life; apart from building and shipping things. A lot of these improvements are often stuck in minds of different stakeholders. This unvocalised feedback and reflection with your peers has an enormous potential to turbocharge your processes.
At Razorpay, we have frequent (Almost weekly)1:1s with many stakeholders like your manager, designers you are collaborating with, engineering, product, data and growth peers that you are directly operating with in pods. This helps us to understand how different processes are coming together and interacting with each other towards a common end goal.
A frank weekly 1:1 makes us take a constructive view at all things we think could have been better and this ensures that our processes are constantly evolving and that our learnings are consistently put into action.
I believe the learning will never stop at a place like Razorpay and will keep adding to this list in due time. Feel free to get in touch to know more.