Going out for a pizza or coffee and using a mobile phone — instead of cash or card — to pay the bill may soon become a reality in India. India’s largest mobile wallet service provider, Paytm, is all set to foray into the offline space in a trend that could be yet another disruptor in the modern Indian retail sector.
Paytm reportedly has partnered with some quick service restaurants (QSRs), including Domino’s and Cafe Coffee Day, for extending its mobile payment services to these chains.
“We are now foraying into the offline space. We have partnered various QSRs covering 7,000-10,000 outlets in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad,” Paytm Vice-President (Business) Amit Lakhotia was quoted as saying.
While Paytm is already a leader in the country with around 80 million wallet users, that has increased by 17 per cent in the past year, according to the KPCB partner Mary Meeker’s report. Its services , however, are limited to mere online transactions , such as for Uber, Bookmyshow, ebay and IRCTC.
Globally, the usage of digital wallets for both online and offline retailers is very high. On average, U.S. smartphone users accessed 26.7 apps per month in the fourth quarter of 2014. For 18 per cent of these U.S. smartphone users, at least one of the apps they accessed during the average month in Q1 2015 was a mobile wallet app, according to a report by Nielsen.
[Future Group’s Big Bazaar has also tied up with mobile payment service provider Mobikwik to kick off mobile payment facilities at its physical stores; the partnership is expected to expand to the conglomerate’s other physical store networks.]
Amongst many mobile payment apps, Starbuck’s mobile payment app ‘The Starbucks App’ is the most successful mobile payment system in the US. According to the company’s statement, the Starbucks app is doing 6 million mobile app tranasctions weekly and it now accounts for a full 15 per cent of transactions made at the U.S. Starbucks-operated stores.
In India now, the digital payment is on the cusp of rapid growth among traditional retailers too, on the back of rapidly rising smartphone penetration in the country.
Just like Paytm’s QSRs collaboration, Future Group’s Big Bazaar has also tied up with mobile payment service provider Mobikwik to kick off mobile payment facilities at its physical stores; the partnership is expected to expand to the conglomerate’s other physical store networks, including Central, home improvement chain Home Town and electronic goods network eZone, according to industry grapevine.
Big Bazaar has reportedly initiated a pilot in some of its outlets in three cities, including Mumbai and Delhi NCR, and it plans to extend the service nationwide in the next three to six months.
According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), digital payments are expected to touch Rs 120,000 crore in 2014, growing at 40 per cent. While most of this growth has been on the back of online payment and ecommerce boom, it will be interesting to see the future of digital wallets services in offline spaces as well.