Zomato hasn't been able to add payment capabilities to its restaurant discovery app in its home base of India, but the company has found a more welcoming audience in Dubai, where it plans a pilot next month.
The global mobile and online restaurant guide provider is looking to introduce an option that would cut down on the use of plastic cards or cash in a restaurant. The company plans to move the mobile payment capability into other markets over the next two years. But for now, India won't be one of those markets; Zomato has reportedly clashed with the Reserve Bank of India over its credit card payment rules.
The Reserve Bank mandates two-step authentication for use of Indian credit cards, a process that calls for the user to manually input a password. Zomato's app instead stores users' credit card information, allowing restaurant patrons to request meals be charged through the app.
Mobile taxi service Uber encountered the same problem with Reserve Bank of India and opted to partner with the Paytm mobile wallet, which has more than 200 million users in the country.
Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd. also operates Oxigen mobile wallet in India. The company partnered with banks in India in August to generate one-time use virtual Visa card numbers in the wallet.
During its Dubai test, Zomato will work with restaurant owners to determine how much it should charge for mobile payments. "We are gathering feedback from the merchants and figuring out the right share of the transaction," Zomato co-founder and chief operating officer Pankaj Chaddah stated in an e-mail.
Zomato lists more than 300,000 restaurants in more than 100 cities across 19 countries. The company says it has raised more than $113 million since it began business in 2010. The most recent round of $60 million came two weeks ago from India's Vy Capital, Info Edge and Sequoia Capital.