Micromax bets on payments biz with mobile wallet UDIO

  • Sunny Sen, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2016 10:55 IST
Micromax Canvas Juice 3 (HT Archive)

Micromax will offer a new wallet, UDIO, for its smartphone users, as it focusses on beefing up its services business. The wallet will be integrated with “Around”, the mobile handset maker’s ecosystem of services in healthcare, e-commerce, taxi booking, wallets, etc.

With a number of e-wallets — Paytm, Mobikwik and Freecharge — already in the market, Micromax is betting on UDIO to be a differentiator.

“Paytm and the others are app-based payment systems. Our wallet will be native and integrated in the mobile phone,” said Vikas Jain, co-founder of Micromax.

A viable business option, considering that some 70% of digital payments happen on the mobile, and Micromax says it has around 30-million users.

UDIO will not be a separate application. When a person uses any of the services on Around, the payment will be directly deducted from the wallet, which will be activated when a Micromax user creates an account on Around.

“There will be no app, just one sign-on to use all the services… On this digital journey, you should be allowed to do whatever you want,” said Jain.

Micromax launched Around as a pilot on its YU range of phones, which are sold only online. But soon, all Micromax smartphones will be equipped with Around.

TranServ, a financial payments company, built the architecture for UDIO. The native wallet will provide a more seamless experience than other wallet apps, said Anish Williams, founder of TranServ. “If you have access to the handset and the operating system, you can do magic with it.”

Micromax has access to both.

Micromax has also partnered with Visa to integrate the payments services giant with the wallet. That gives it access to more than 100,000 offline merchants that Visa has in India. Paytm and Mobikwik took more than a couple of years to get there.

UDIO can be used by scanning a QR code, which will be unique to every merchant. Micromax will also use m-Visa, the new mechanism that allows payment without cards and swiping machines. Your Visa credit or debit card’s limit will be your wallet’s limit.

Micromax may soon issue virtual and plastic cards as well, through TranServ’s tie-up with RBL Bank (formerly called Ratnakar Bank). It is also in talks with more merchants and e-commerce companies to integrate with Around.

Micromax, which closed 2015-16 with a claimed $2 billion in revenue, is expecting to grow by 30-40% this year.

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