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Launch HN: Cashfree (YC S17) – Automated Payouts and Bank Transfers for India
91 points by akashindya on Oct 23, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 42 comments
Hey HN! I am Akash, co-founder of Cashfree(https://www.cashfree.com).

Cashfree is India's first payments platform that automates inbound and outbound bank transfers. This replaces the slow, error prone alternative of uploading Excel files for bulk payments or manually reconciling payments received via bank transfers. Using Cashfree, payouts that took more than a day to process, happen instantly and independent of banking hours.

We help businesses like fintech platforms and marketplaces to easily setup custom payment flows to receive and disburse money.

Cashfree is being used for automated payouts and collections for use cases like -

* Supply chain collections by distributors

* Crowdfunding campaigns

* Marketplace vendor settlements

* Instant deposits and withdrawals at bitcoin exchanges

* Payroll for on-demand economy workers

* Loan disbursal and repayment by lenders

* Invoice payments at Modern ERP and Accounting tools

* Instant refunds (versus 5-7 days presently)

We started Cashfree to help e-commerce customers pay for their COD orders on delivery, through their mobile. While running Cashfree, we faced challenges around settling payouts to our partner merchants. Our partner merchants too shared similar problems and it made us dive deeper. We found no other payments company solving this common problem and decided to build a solution.

We support RESTful APIs that can be integrated easily with tech stack of a business (a) to carry out payouts and (b) automatically reconcile inbound bank transfers. Our solutions are built on top of banking infrastructure and are compliant with the regulations.

Would love to answer your questions about Cashfree and look forward to discuss anything on payments and bank transfers.

Accepting payments is complex work if you are a marketplace or have some kind of service that pools money and then disburse it. SimplyGuest rents shared houses; multiple people pay house rent which needs to be pooled together and then the aggregated money is disbursed to many vendors including the house owner. Its like n-to-1-to-n. I built this entire payments process and system by myself (if someone is interested they can read it here https://blog.simplyguest.com/payments/simplyguest-payments.h...). It took me many months, but the end result wasn't very good. Moreover, its not a core service SimplyGuest provides.

I integrated Cashfree last month for both collection and payouts at SimplyGuest. Prior to this I had to upload a carefully crafted excel sheet into a nodal account using a bank website which works only in a particular computer and then send the same instructions in a slightly different format to the bank officials who sit in Mumbai; sometimes when I call them they are off to lunch or having a cup of coffee, and I needed to keep track of which festivals Mumbai celebrates! Or else, these instructions may not get processed. Its such a waste of time.

Cashfree fits into my workflow perfectly, allowing me to automate payments. Their settlement time is good too. That was the primary reason I preferred Paytm over Razorpay. But Cashfree is a good alternative to Paytm, Instamojo and Razorpay.

Thanks Reeju and Akash. You guys are good. I wish you all the best.

Thanks Subbu, always a pleasure to receive customer feedback. We try to be the fastest, easiest way to move money in India.

Hi, This is pretty cool. Incoming cash into bank accounts is super hard to manage and we are looking for some help here.

Do you handle situations where "posting" of a transaction happens later than the date it is actually meant to. Some banks will then insert it in the middle (they don't treat it as an append only log) and that breaks the whole reconciliation. Things like transactional balance(for each line item) starts screwing up.

We were talking to RBL about it, but if you handle this, we are happy to talk to you guys.

Also wanted to reiterate that this a cash deposit issue. If it is electronic already, there's no big issues... But a lot of India is still cash.

We display incoming transactions at our dashboard in the order of their receipt. Not sure what logic banks use to insert new transaction in the middle of statement log. It doesn't happen with our AutoCollect(NEFT re-conciliation) product.

We will set up a demo account for you and let you try it for multiple transactions. Do share your email or drop a note to us at care@gocashfree.com. Thanks!

My email is in my profile (or in Bookface). This is actually the single biggest issue in cash reconciliation.

If this is something your banking partner and you can solve, we would love to hear more.

FYI - all ecommerce companies in India have this issue. Usually they have to jump a lot of hoops with banks to make it work.

Sure. We'd get in touch with you soon.

"Sorry, we don't recognize this email id."

This doesn't sound good. Should you not be doing 'If we recognize this email we will send you a verification code' with a timing randomization / delay if you're doing anything on the request pipeline such as the SMTP send.

No, this is fine. If anyone malicious wanted to find out if an email address is registered they could simply try to create a new account using it.

No, I don't think it is fine. But I do take your point that most signup flows would have this information leak too, and probably with less effect - i.e. target wouldn't get a password reset email. The information leak as a whole though does probably mandates better patterns. I can see it being used by gray hat competitors - 'Hey before you offer X pricing check if he's already a customer of Y and so on'.

Weekend project: Scrap HN for emails, run them through redtube which also has this information leak (someone told me), publish them, charge $5 per deletion. (Not serious, but hey feasible right)

Hi, Both the approaches are correct. However, first one is more helpful to registered users who want to reset their password. Sometimes, they forget the email id they registered their account with and the "Sorry" message helps them think harder and try alternative email addresses.

In the latter, they will wait for the code for a minute or two and then realise they entered an in-correct email id.

first one is more helpful to hackers who want to figure out which accounts are registered on your site, and then later proceed with a brute force / social attack.

Malicious users can always check that via the signup flow anyway.

Hi. Interesting product. Couple of stuffs when looking around your site.

First, there is a typo for the word 'experience' in this page - https://www.cashfree.com/en/careers-pe.

Secondly, you have not mentioned any tech stack in your job listings. It is interesting, but just curious if there is any reason behind that, as tech stacks are important deciding factors in choosing a job.

Third, the docs page looks pretty empty on the right hand side where it links to the language specific documentation(http://docs.gocashfree.com/docs/v1/?java#get-link). I'm not sure if it is a feature or a bug.

[1] Yes, it was a mistake. Has been corrected.

[2] We have many modules running inside our ecosystem in different languages. Front-end is primarily bootstrap and templating is done in PHP. Tech stacks are important for folks who primarily want to work with given technology, however, our culture promotes using the best one for a given job and thus we don't want to restrict ourselves to a specific tech stack.

[3] We are working on adding sample codes for all the mentioned languages.

Congrats on the launch! I see payment gateway as the first product on the top nav - perhaps a noob question, but how is this different from Razorpay?

Hi, Cashfree PG can be used for more than accepting card/nb transactions. It can be plugged with SmartPayout and Marketplace Settlements to disburse incoming money among vendors/sellers. It's one of the products at our platform that is essential to automate payment flows at businesses.

I have been working on a saas platform and looking for a payment gateway that can accept payments from outside India towards my Indian Bank account. Does cashfree work for that purpose? Do you support recurring payments for international customers?

We can help you accept international card payments. We don't have subscription product ready yet. Do write us at: care@gocashfree.com

Congrats on launching FinTech product for the Indian market.

Do you support subscription model i.e., auto charging a credit card every month for a SAAS product? From what I understood, RBI banned auto charging customers credit card. I am not sure.

We can enable subscription on credit cards. That product will get ready in a month from now. Share your contact details, our team will reach out to you once ready.

That's really great. Core Product is still in alpha phase. Will reach to you guys once we started to integrate billing.

Hey Akash,

(a) Is there a limit on the quantum of the financial transaction? Example, can an online funding platform (ticket size is $5,000 to $50,000) use Cashfree to move money from angels to startups?

(b) Can solution handle overseas payments? To or from India.


Hi there, (a) We support payouts till INR 10,000,000. (b) We don't handle overseas transfers currently. Payouts can be sent to any bank account in India. If you are a overseas business and have a entity registered in India, then we can onboard you at our platform for payout services.

Reach out to us at care@gocashfree.com or leave your email, we will get in touch.

Your terms and conditions page is broken.


Had a problem with the URL. It's been fixed.

I send multiple payouts by file uploads on my bank regularly, but this doesn't work on weekends. Can you help here?

If these payouts are over NEFT, it won't get processed on Sundays:

Monday to Saturday (Except 2nd and 4th Saturday) is 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. [0]

I'm not sure if Cashfree is using NEFT or IMPS. If it is IMPS, it should be much faster.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Electronic_Funds_Tran...

Hi, Many banks support bulk transfers only over NEFT and thus it's limiting them to process your payouts on weekends.

We send out most of our payouts over IMPS and can be used 24x7. IMPS has couple of restrictions though (a) We don't have as many banks as we have on NEFT network [List is here: https://www.npci.org.in/links-imps-members] (b) single transaction can't be more than Rs. 200,000 (however, you can totally send multiple IMPS transfers to the same account).

Checkout the banks at IMPS network. Do get in touch with us at care@gocashfree.com, if majority of your beneficiary accounts belong to those banks. Last we checked, most of the major banks (ICIC, HDFC, AXIS, SBI, YES, Kotak, RBL, BOI etc) are present.

why IMPS and not UPI ? just curious since UPI looks to be the replacement for IMPS all over.

UPI has a limit of 10k per transaction and 20k per day.

I don't think this is correct. I just made a transaction of more amount than you mentioned.

Hi,Akash good luck with your venture.Can you post a thread on reddit india(r/india) too?

Sure. Will do it shortly.

I just checked the API documentation. It seems that all the requests are through HTTP POST, including Get Status and Get Link, wonder how can that be considered as RESTful?

Not "pure restful", but if it gets the job done, what's the problem?

Alternatively, if they need a body for their "GET" requests, that might be why it's a POST?

Nope, not RESTful but still looks usable and they would surely iterate and improve. Violates third, fourth and last of Roy Fieldings constraints [1], last one being really helpful while using APIs [2]

[1] http://roy.gbiv.com/untangled/2008/rest-apis-must-be-hyperte...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HATEOAS

Cashfree looks promising and something really needed in India especially the bank transfer API. Good luck to the team.

Hi, Thanks for looking around. You might have seen the documentation of Cashfree Payment Gateway and yes, it's not restful.

Documentation of Bank transfer products (Payout and NEFT re-conciliation) is not public yet. We send it to our merchants during their on-boarding. We understand that it makes evaluation by new/prospective customers at bit harder and thus, are in-process of revamping our doc site to include documentation of all the products we support.

Do drop us a note at care@gocashfree.com. We will share it with you.

Hi - can cashfree be used to make bitcoin -> PayTM payments?

Sorry, we don't support this use case currently. Also, if you could elaborate on your use case a bit more, then we would be able to respond better.

Does this work for foreign companies paying out in India?

Foreign company needs to setup an India entity to avail that service. We don't support cross-border transfers currently.

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