Mobile Wallets Gain Currency at India’s Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Monday, September 14, 2015
Could mobile wallets be to India what credit cards are to the West? When they were launched about five years ago, they were used mostly for making online payments. Increasingly, though, they are being used to make payments in the 'offline' world.
Mobile recharges used to dominate transactions through such wallets. In time most have added on categories like DTH TV and data plan recharges, utility bill payments, cab payments, train and bus ticket bookings, and e-commerce payments.
Now, mobile wallet players are partnering with brick-and-mortar stores to enable payments through mobile wallets. So today, if you walk into a KFC, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee, Vaango, BigBazaar, WH Smith, Cafe Coffee Day or Storeking, you could use your mobile to pay, instead of taking out your wallet.
The variety of purposes for which mobile wallets can now be used, and the pace of their adoption, suggests that they could replace credit cards as the primary non-cash payment model.
"The potential to grow the payments by bringing such offline channels is endless," Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm, by far the biggest player in the mobile wallet space, told TOI.
The manager at a large Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Bengaluru said the mobile wallet option was introduced about four months ago, and already 10% of customers use that option. The chain provides the option of using either the MobiKwik or Oxigen wallets.