Digital payments in UAE have experienced tremendous growth. With digital adoption ascending to its peak, the number of digital payment transactions grew at an annual rate of more than nine percent between 2014 and 2019.
Currently, with the increasingly digital-savvy population in the Middle East, the payments industry revenue in the UAE is expected to grow to $18.7 billion by 2031.
According to a new Boston Consulting Group report, revenues are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 7.7% in the upcoming years.
With such whopping numbers, the business world needs to put its best foot forward and up its game. Helping small and medium-scale businesses along the way and paving an excellent road map ahead for smooth and secure digital transactions is the one-of-its-kind platform- Escrowpay.
Moving contingent money across payment rails is still broken, especially if one of the endpoints is an emerging SME. However, in B2B, there was no platform enabling a feasible solution, so there was a great need to innovate. Hence, this real challenge needed a solution and that’s how Escrowpay was born.
Meet Ashwin Chawwla
A serial entrepreneur in wealth management with over two decades of experience. Ashwin is the Founder and CEO of Escrowpay. He is a passionate learner and an avid reader, who is keen on discovering new things and getting to learn from them.
Education and Career Deets
His education qualification includes: completed graduation from Delhi University, MBA in marketing from the University of Liverpool, executive education from Universoty of Texas, Yale University and Stanford University.
His career in wealth management spans insurances and real estate before etering payments in 2015. He started his career as a corporate insurance agent in 2001 with Tata AIG and Birla Sunlife then moved to global real estate in 2004. Ashwin has hit many milestones in his career. Some of the most lauded ones include, he has successfully closed over $3B in transactions on behalf of his clients. He was instrumental in bringing Coldwell Banker, an over 100 years old real estate brand to India.
He also closed the largest land deal in India of over $500 M way back in 2013 from where the escrow idea was seeded. Ashwin has also travelled with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Germany. He is a member of three panels on entrepreneurship & technology with Confederation of Indian Industry.
Currently based in Dubai, Ashwin is onboarding a new banking partner for expanding Escrowpay in GCC. Understanding the need of the hour, Ashwin reckons that the payment industry and the development of a FinTech ecosystem are among the growth drivers of the future economy.
The Foundation of Escrowpay
One hot afternoon in Mumbai, two leading developers DLF and Lodha Group were struggling to close a $500M land transaction. Ashwin happened to advise both companies. While trying to find a solution, someone suggested ‘Let’s escrow” and that rang a bell and that is when the Escrowpay idea was seeded.
Every day small and medium-scale businesses struggle to get paid on time. Litigation with your client is never really an option.
So, one day while sketching the product, he realized that the puzzle in front can be stitched, and a solution can be offered. His company then tied up with largest banks in india. With such an effective system, businesses now can enable trust in their transactions for ‘collecting on-time to payments on-time’.
At Escrowpay, the team was able to digitize the escrow piece 100%. Today, it offers an escrow account nearly instantly. It is the first company in the world to successfully open escrow accounts on WhatsApp.
Additionally, the perks of having an escrow account certainly help to make investing in the primary market a lot safer.
Core DNA of Escrowpay
In the business world, small and medium-scale businesses are creating an impact and marking their presence. They are equally important as the large-scale business
Hence, Escrowpay is fully aware of the requirements of SMEs and hence supports such businesses to succeed. This is at the heart of what Escrowpay does, helping small and medium-scale businesses to hit milestones and accelerate growth.
Until recently, only the big players could enjoy escrow, However, with its latest technology now, it is making digital escrow available for everyone, giving SMEs the chance to get ahead and aim for higher and timely revenues.
It endeavours to make life better for an SME. It is focused on the growth of SMEs worldwide, by helping them collect and pay on time.
An Overview of Escrowpay
Its Indian Banking Partners
ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, YES Bank & RBL Bank
Escrowpay’s team handles escrows of over $1.5 billion and is a team that didn’t need “more money” to show PMF and growth
The problem Escrowpay is trying to solve is that banks today need 2-3 months in opening an escrow account with about 400 pages to sign.
Founded in 2015, ESCROWPAY is an all-in-one payment platform. Be its high-value, once-in-lifetime purchases, milestone-based transactions, long-dated sales, or even recurring regular transactions, the company protects the interests of stakeholders in all contingent-based transactions by creating a safe, secure, transparent, and smart digital escrow-centered ecosystem of payments. It has dropped the number of pages to sign to just 20. A platform with No hidden fees, No minimum balance, No ‘lock-in’, and No stress.
The need for ‘on demand’ trust in transactions is a booming business as businesses would always desire to collect and pay on time
Today, Escrowpay’s technology allows opening an escrow account faster than any bank in minutes, with complete checks and balances and the money in your account. Smooth, convenient, transparent, and delightful. It has married banking software as a service and API connectivity making transactions seamless and simple.
Product Suite covers:
- Payment Gateway Services
- Digital Banking Solution
- Debit Cards
- Trusteeship services
- Identity checks
- Digital signing capabilities
- Digital ledgers
- Digital escrow
- eNach for recurring payments
- POS business
Escrowpay is today a digitally native business serving a large number of clients in different cities, no feet on the street, no DSAs, and no branches, and it offers an escrow account to every SME.
Why this – Discovering a Huge Gap in India 65M SMEs today run their businesses without an escrow account and run the risk of closure on account of delayed payments. As per an Ernst and Young report, $200 billion is stuck in delayed payments – A HUGE GAP in the 65M SME market
Why now – Digital transformation
When Escrowpay was founded a few years back, even the adhaar stack was not available. The company has walked a difficult path but continued to hold against all adversities. Demonitisation and all government initiatives for digitising payments like UPI stack etc has worked very well for Escrowpay.
In-house built technology
The platform build was completed in June 2020, taking all product development risks away from investors. In 2021, the team secured strategic partnerships, built white-label versions of the platform, and refined the application before achieving staggering results. While we all use payment gateway every day, Escrowpay is a ‘Digital Trust’ Payment Gateway.
Medulla – Escrowpay’s nerve centre
A powerhouse in the cloud helping onboard clients faster than ever. Backed by security protocols from AWS and Escrowpay’s proprietary algo, this is by far the biggest innovation Indian payments and banking industry has seen.
Technoviti Award, CII Innovation award, incubated by the US State Department and the University of Texas at Austin.
Key Insights about Ashwin’s Personal Life
Ashwin wakes up at 7 am, in the prayer room by 8 am. He starts his day by thanking the universe for all health, wealth, and happiness. He starts work by 8: 45 am, the meetings are largely online and have a great team to tide over all his requirements. Listening to music while working helps Ashwin relax and focus at the same time.
Rich dad poor dad
“Failure is only when you quit”
Ashwin’s take on Women Entrepreneurs in Business
Women are great leaders and can build their empires as beautifully as they have built their homes. Ashwin has collaborated with some inspirational women in business.
Vani Kola from Kalaari Capital, Padmaja Ruparel from Indian Angel Network, Rema Subramaniam, Ritu Verma, Kamakshi Rao from Ankur Capital, and Vasudha Wadhera from Elevation Capital are some of the leaders in the funding space
Escrowpay’s Future Goals
As new specialized payment players bring the bigger picture to reality, the GCC will experience real-time advancements. Escrowpay is at the forefront of this opportunity including the CEPA deal which both India and UAE signed recently. With new and optimal solutions, Escrowpay aspires to become a blockchain-based fully digital bank for business owners with having global presence.