On Wednesday (Jan. 25), Zoho, which offers cloud-based business operating systems, unveiled Zoho Checkout, a payments system geared toward businesses that want to set up the ability to be paid online, rather than via cash, and do so without the use of a website or processing equipment.
Zoho Checkout is being offered through the Zoho Finance Suite, the company said. In conjunction with the checkout option, users can collect one-time and recurring payments, and payments pages can be customized, embedded on websites or shared as a link in an email or via social media.
The company said that smaller businesses or freelancers can accept card payments, as Zoho Checkout has data security compliant with PCI DSS and SSL encryption. Payments functionality integrates with WePay, Stripe and Razorpay. With a simultaneous launch in the United States and India, U.S. consumers can choose WePay or Stripe, and India can use Razorpay.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Raj Sabhlok, president at Zoho, stated that the initial target audience is one that has conducted transactions via cash or may be collecting money on a short-term basis. In one hypothetical, he offered a scenario where a high school football team would look to raise funds for equipment or uniforms. It’s unlikely they would want to take on the expertise or expense required in adopting an accounting system or payments processing technology. Nor would the team necessarily have a website that could accommodate a payments function.
In this case, funds can be collected (and solicited) via email, links and social media. The email campaign can have support through MailChimp integration, and users can build a mailing list tied to the payments page through Zoho Checkout. Here, said the executive, “there’s no need to go door to door … and just about anyone can set be set up to accept payments in five minutes.” He added that FinTech technology has advanced enough to “come to the individual or microbusiness level.” Analytics at the real-time level, said Sabhlok, allow for the tracking and addressing of failed payments, with customizable levels for frequency of retrying payments and followup with customers.
Zoho Checkout, said Sabhlok, allows for “untethered online payments … you need just an email link or a payment page.” He noted that the availability in India is especially timely in the wake of the cash crunch that has marked demonetization in that country, fostering online payments.
Upon launching today, said the firm, Zoho Checkout has three tiers, including a free plan that will support a single payment page. There are also standard and professional plans, with broader features offered at a respective $9 and $29 monthly fee.