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Taxi-hailing service Ola is said to have acquired a minority stake in its wallet partner Zipcash Card Services, a semi-closed digital wallet service, reported VCcircle.

Earlier this year in August, Ola – that operates under ANI Technologies, had opened up its closed wallet by partnering with ZipCash to allow third-party merchant to transact using Ola Money. Under this, it extended its alliance with Oyo Rooms, LensKart and Saavn.

ZipCash is a digital wallet services that connects third-party merchants for payments. It had recently received the authorization from the Reserve Bank of India to set up a Payment System and issue Pre-paid instruments under the Payments & Settlement Act, 2007.

Inc42 could not verify the details, and Ola has declined to comment on stake purchase.

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It was rumored that Ola. in partnership with Zipcash, would apply for it own semi closed wallet to RBI. With increasing mobile wallet transactions, a lot of companies are getting into wallets. Last month, Snapdeal and Freecharge together launched Freecharge Wallet and got  approved by RBI to do so. TinyOwl has tied up with online payment gateway, Citrus, to launch ‘MyWallet’ for easier and faster transactions and Hyderabad-based Abhibus, a bus ticketing portal has launched its own wallet service named ‘Abhicash’.

Ola’s direct competition in the market, SF-based Uber has enabled Paytm which also has a payment bank license from RBI.

Such partnerships become important because as per RBI regulations. Currently, the aggregators and marketplaces are not allowed to offer digital transactions across all merchants unless they accrue a license to do so. This  also fosters the adoption of the service.

Around two weeks ago, Ola, which is among the unicorns(valued above Bn), released its API to coders and developers and partnered with Makemytrip, Samsung, OyoRooms, Helpchat and Inmobi – integrating their APIs on Ola’s platform. This move gave Ola access to additional 100Mn users from its partners.

Ankit Bhati, CTO and Co-founder at Ola said at the launch, “The public release of our API to developers is a giant leap in collaborative technology. Our technology has helped in enabling mobility for millions of users, across use cases in over a 100 cities.”

Ola recently raised around $30 Mn from its Chinese counterpart Didi Kuaidi. This is in addition to the $225 Mn it raised this month, led by existing investor Falcon Edge Capital along with Tiger Global Management LLC, Softbank and six other investors. The company has also tripled its number of tech employees, with the team growing from 300 to 1,000 in one year.


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