BHIM app forces e-wallets to rework their strategy | business-news | Hindustan Times
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BHIM app forces e-wallets to rework their strategy

business Updated: Jan 03, 2017 11:16 IST

Wallet providers are reworking on their business models to woo customers and get an edge over their competitors.(iStock photo)

Wallet providers are reworking on their business models to woo customers and get an edge over their competitors.

In a bid to create a “differentiated wallet”, Mobikwik founder and CEO Bipin Preet Singh will roll out loyalty programmes.

“Loyal Mobikwik users will be able to get home loans and personal loans at lower interest rates and higher returns on mutual fund investments. We want to distinguish ourselves as a distribution platform for financial services,” Singh said. Mobikwik will collaborate with banks and financial firms.

Oxigen, a strong player in the offline space for 12 years, will continue to tap this $1.3 trillion offline retail market, as Sunil Kulkarni, joint MD, Oxigen Services said.

As of now, the merchants of mobile wallet providers can accept money from the users of only a particular wallet.

“We will launch the One India QR code, which will enable users to pay at our merchant shops to RuPay, Visa, Master cards or Oxigen Wallet,” said Kulkarni.

Without revealing specifics on the plans, Karthik Rajeshwaran, director, strategy, FreeCharge, said they would come up with more offers in 2017.

However, the wallet providers would have to compete with the first government mobile wallet, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), an Aadhaar-based mobile payment application. It aims to empower the poor and works in cheap feature phones without internet connectivity. And one can pay directly from their bank account to make a purchase. However, most wallet companies don’t see the BHIM app as a rival now.

Paytm, India’s largest mobile wallet company, refused to comment on the matter.

Mobikwik’s Singh believes the app will contribute to the digital ecosystem and help “promote digital payment literacy”. Kulkarni, joint MD, Oxigen Services, sees the launch only as a starting point for the government.

“One needs feet on the ground for merchant acquisition. The government too will need banks to support more people to be able to acquire merchants,” Kulkarni said.

Meanwhile, both Mobikwik and Oxigen Services are strengthening their offline merchants.

MobiKwik, in November, launched a lighter version of its app that works on cheaper smartphones, with low bandwidth and added five lakh merchants after demonetisation and continue to add 10,000 to 15,000 every day. Oxigen already has 150 million users in retail.