Mobile wallet is a service that is often confused with mobile banking. It is a much broader concept, which includes using a mobile phone as a mode of payment, rather than depending on hard cash or debit and credit cards. In India, the mobile wallet market is projected to witness double-digit growth rate over next five years.
The recently held 3rd Annual eTailing India Expo, in Mumbai, saw the launch of the first white paper on the Indian mobile wallet market.
Start-ups, warehousing, packaging and logistics professionals, entrepreneurs and retailers thronged the event. IRCE, a partner to the event, joined Ashish Jhalani of eTailing India to launch two white papers at the opening of the three-day grand event, which was India’s largest in the e-commerce space.
Jhalani explains: “With mobile prepaid wallet, customers can do away with the three layers of security for payment, which are required while using a debit or credit card or while making payment through net banking. Wallets are a one-click payment solution, with greater success rate of payments (around 95 per cent) as compared to transactions done through debit or credit cards.”
Mobile wallets are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) except for those which are used for transactions with one merchant. Wallets can be categorised into two categories – open and semi-closed. Open wallet has a bank as a shareholder while semi-closed wallet is not linked with any bank. For instance, m-pesa has both kind of accounts – an open as well as semi-closed wallets. A semi-closed wallet does not allow the consumer to withdraw cash, but an open wallet linked to a bank does.
Paytm, which was launched in January 2014, presently has 10 million users who have already downloaded the Paytm Wallet and the company is expecting to reach more than 50 million wallet downloads by 2015. QwikCilver, a gift card and other stored value solutions provider in India, got its license in 2013. In the fiscal year 2014, the company did business worth Rs. 400 crore and is estimated to deal with Rs. 1,000 crore of money loaded on prepaid wallets by next year, according to the co-founder of the company.
Mobile wallets are a good alternative to COD
Indian e-commerce companies prefer to settle refunds to customers through wallets. Some companies refund the amount by crediting points or by crediting money worth the said amount into the customer’s account, which acts as a wallet on the portal. For instance, PayU India presently runs PayUMoney.
Global mobile wallet market
In the U.S., PayPal dominates the market followed by Google Wallet and MasterCard PayPass Wallet. In Europe, EE, MasterCard, PayPal and Visa are the key vendors. eServGlobal, MasterCard, MFS Africa, Western Union and World Remit are some of the key players in the African market. The market in the Asia Pacific region is dominated by players like DIMOCO, PayOne, Monitise and FreedomPay, etc. Some of the other major players in this market are Blackberry, American Express, Visa Inc., and Samsung. PayPal, Google and ISIS are the major mobile wallet providers globally.
PayPal and Google together accounted for more than 60 per cent share of the pie.
In the Indian market, the competition for mobile wallet will become more aggressive in future. Rising penetration of smart phones along with increasing number of mobile wallet service providers in the Indian market is pushing the growth forward. If banks fail to turn their focus on enabling excellent mobile wallet services for its customers, they will have to risk losing out to competition. On the other hand, mobile operators must widen their services and redesign the existing services to attract new customers and maintain their present customer base. In this large and diverse market, mobile wallet service providers can cut out competition only when they differentiate their strategy to increase their customer reach.