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Zomato shuts down cashless payments

  • Restaurant aggregator Zomato has announced the shutdown of its
    cashless payments business, branded Zomato Cashless.
  •  
  • Zomato had partnered with Emirates NBD, a Dubai-based bank to
    introduce the feature in February 2015. Cashless allowed diners to settle their
    bill without paying cash or physically swiping their cards at participating
    restaurants in Dubai, using a credit card. While the company had planned to

    • Restaurant aggregator Zomato has announced the shutdown of its
      cashless payments business, branded Zomato Cashless.
    •  
    • Zomato had partnered with Emirates NBD, a Dubai-based bank to
      introduce the feature in February 2015. Cashless allowed diners to settle their
      bill without paying cash or physically swiping their cards at participating
      restaurants in Dubai, using a credit card. While the company had planned to
      expand the feature to other markets, Cashless wasn’t rolled out in any other
      countries during the last eight months.


    •  
    • “For now, we’ll be rolling back Cashless completely in the next
      7 days,” said Deepinder Goyal, Co-Founder and CEO of Zomato in a blog
      post.
    •  
    • “In our Cashless product, we needed a user to think about the
      payment at a restaurant before the start of the meal, whereas they are
      accustomed to thinking about the payment only at the end of the meal,”
      Goyal wrote.
    •  
    • The shutdown was due to a lack of product-market fit in its current
      form, as Cashless wasn’t a part of the natural user flow for a typical Zomato
      user, and high customer acquisition costs, he wrote. Early adopters turned out
      to contribute to a significant proportion of the users, showing the product
      would not scale easily. “When it comes to deciding the success or failure
      of our products, we need to always look beyond the early adopters,” Goyal said.
    •  
    • Enabling the Cashless feature required the participating restaurant
      outlet to be provided an iPad, which would charge the user’s credit card
      through the Cashless merchant app.
    •  
    • “We were bearing the cost of the iPad at these restaurants.
      That cost alone (in hindsight) makes the business look unviable,” Goyal
      wrote, adding that the cost of educating restaurant staff on Cashless was too
      high, and took continuous maintenance.
    •  
    • In closing, Goyal wrote that Zomato plans to bring back its cashless
      feature with Base, its cloud-based PoS system, and Book, its table management
      system, so that participating outlets won’t have to install any additional
      hardware at the restaurant.
    •  
    • Founded in 2008, Zomato has $223.8 million in eight funding rounds
      so far, having raised $60 million in its latest funding round in September.

     

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