The mobile wallet competition just got hotter, when, on December 30 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), an Aadhaar-based mobile payment application.
The launch of BHIM app, the first government promoted mobile wallet in the country may be a decisive turning point for existing wallet players fighting for a larger market share since demonetisation.
The ban of ₹500 and ₹ 1000 notes has been the biggest opportunity for e-wallets to make their presence felt. Paytm, MobiKwik and Snapdeal-owned Freecharge have become the poster boys of the online payments industry with Paytm leading the market share.
With 150 million users on the platform, Paytm has become synonymous to e-wallet. It added five million new users and registered over seven million transactions worth ₹120 crore every day. Mobikwik with a user base of 40 million has seen a growth of 40% in daily app downloads.
These players have constantly up against the other with new launches and tie-ups to attract more users.
The BHIM app, which is a re-branded version of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is named after Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar and aims to promote digital transactions.
The app can currently be downloaded only from the android app store, with a maximum transaction limit of Rs 20,000. However, the app is to some extent different from the existing mobile wallets. Here’s how:
Currently, unlike the existing mobile wallets that also support some local languages, BHIM works only in Hindi and English. The app will be launched in regional languages soon.
Unlike other payment wallets, which ask you to first add money to the wallet and then start transacting, BHIM app allows you to send and receive money directly through online banking.
BHIM app works on feature phones, without internet connectivity. All you need to do is to dial *99# from any mobile phone and follow the instructions. Currently, FreeCharge, Oxigen and Paytm already allow feature phone users to use their services, while Mobikwik is working on a similar.
You can download the BHIM app and link it to a bank only to your mobile number registered with the bank.
On BHIM, users can check their bank balance and transactions details too, unlike other mobile wallets. The others only help you track expenses done through your wallet.
Now, all eyes are on strategies of the private mobile wallet players to retain their market share.