A burgeoning middle class, rising levels of disposable income, better internet services than ever before, skyrocketing growth of smartphone usage, investor money flowing into the mobile payments industry– the time has never been better for India’s mobile wallet startups, for sure. But is the Indian consumer reluctant to give up cash? If so, why?
The number of mobile wallet users has been steadily growing, and has reached about 140-150 Mn, thanks to mindblowing offers and discounts. Interestingly, Paytm, the biggest player in the market today, has over 100 Mn wallet users, registering over 75 million transactions every month.
According to RBI data, between January to May last year, there have been 204.81 Mn mobile wallet transactions valued at INR 5,222 Cr. In 2014-15, more than 255 Mn transactions were registered, with a combined value of transactions of INR 8,184 Cr. This is a 137 per cent increase from 107.61 Mn transactions during 2013-14.
Despite the steady rise in the number of mobile wallet users in the country, there are still some factors that are hindering its usage and preventing it from going mainstream.
Here are some of the key factors:
The Reluctant Indian
Although, there are over 150 Mn users who have their mobile wallets, there are hardly any avenues of usage. The number of merchants who allow the use of mobile wallets is limited. “The biggest issue is acceptance. Most of the usage has come from a few large merchants such as Uber in the case of Paytm or tie-ups with ecommerce players, with usage driven by cashback offers,” says Abhijit Bose, co-founder of Ezetap.
When a typical consumer can walk into any one of his favourite merchant outlet and is offered the easy ability to use a wallet – as they do with cash or cards, – only then will the adoption of wallets witness a rapid surge, believes Abhijit.