Less than two months after MobiKwik developed a wallet for state-owned telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the Gurugram-based digital payments company has announced a similar partnership with Bajaj Finance, the lending arm of Bajaj Finserv, for the launch of the Bajaj Finserv Wallet. According to the terms of the alliance, the new app will be powered by MobiKwik.\r\n\r\nTouted as India\u2019s first wallet that offers all the features and benefits of the Bajaj Finserv EMI card, the wallet is envisioned as a cost-effective, secure and personalised ecosystem for digital payments.\r\n\r\nAt the launch of the app, Bajaj Finance COO Rakesh Bhatt said, \u201cWe are delighted to introduce a disruptive proposition that will enable our customers to enjoy the features of the Bajaj Finserv EMI card, along with the ease and benefits of a wallet app. This is a strategic step for us to complete our payment ecosystem, thus enabling exponential customer experience and giving them additional means to pay the way they want.\u201d\r\nBajaj Finserv Digital Wallet: Catering To More Than 75 Mn Customers\r\nThe wallet, which is available to all existing and new customers of MobiKwik and Bajaj Finserv, allows users to make and collect payments, pay bills, book bus tickets, avail offers, search nearby stores etc. instantly and seamlessly on a real-time basis.\r\n\r\nThe Bajaj Finserv Wallet comes pre-loaded with its digital EMI card. It also ensures security against any fraudulent transaction and makes it easy to block or unblock the card, increasing the ease of transaction.\r\n\r\nAs stated by Taku, the Bajaj Finserv Wallet will cater to more than 75 Mn customers across the country. Using the app, users can make digital payments across India on MobiKwik\u2019s 2 Mn+ merchant network and Bajaj Finserv\u2019s distribution network of more than 33,000 outlets.\r\n\r\nSpeaking about the newly-launched app, MobiKwik co-founder Upasana Taku stated, \u201cIndia\u2019s fast paced journey to becoming a cashless nation today received another push with the launch of country\u2019s first credit wallet. The Bajaj Finserv-MobiKwik wallet will allow users to fulfill their buying needs on credit and have an even cheerful festive season. We believe that collaborations will play a huge role in our evolution into a leading digi-finance platform, and by 2022, MobiKwik will be empowering a billion Indians with one tap access to payments, savings, investments and lending.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn addition to facilitating digital payments, the wallet is equipped with features like user preferences, geotagging through customer location, product prioritisation as well as a robust search engine for products, brands and dealers. It also provides nearby capability search option that allows customers to locate the nearest Bajaj Finserv\u2019s distribution point or the closest Mobikwik Merchant Network outlet across categories like gadgets, clothes, travel, groceries and small appliances, power backup, holiday packages, accessories, education and watches, among others.\r\n\r\nThe development comes just over two months after Bajaj Finance Ltd (BFL) poured $35.2 Mn (INR 225 Cr) into MobiKwik, acquiring 11% stake in the process. As per the agreement, Bajaj Finance acquired 10 equity shares and 271,050 compulsory convertible preference shares (CCPS) of Mobikwik. The investment, according to BFL Managing Director Rajeev Jain, was aimed at utilising MobiKwik\u2019s technologies to develop front-end application for users availing financial services.\r\nHow Bajaj Finance Is Meeting The Borrowing Needs Of 19 Mn Customers \r\nBajaj Finance Limited, the lending and investment arm of Bajaj Finserv group, currently caters to over 19 Mn customers all over India. Bajaj Finserv, on the other hand, boasts more than 9.8 Mn EMI card customers and an overall franchise of 21.69 Mn customers.\r\n\r\nHeadquartered in Pune, the company\u2019s product offerings include consumer durable loans, lifestyle finance, digital product finance, personal loans, loan against property, SME loans, home loans, credit cards, two-wheeler and three-wheeler loans, loans against Securities and rural finance, among others.\r\nMobiKwik On A Mission To Attain Unicorn Status\r\nStarted in 2009, by Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku, Gurugram-based MobiKwik claims to have over 65 Mn users and 2 Mn retailers on its platform. With offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata, the mobile wallet is gearing up to set up offices in a total of 13 cities across the country by the end of 2017.\r\n\r\nMobiKwik\u2019s technology is currently powering digital payments for Bhopal Plus, Bangalore One, GSRTC, Amul, Verka, Mother Dairy, Safal, NHAI, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, BookMyShow, Grofers, Big Basket, Dominos, Burger King, Pizza Hut, eBay, ShopClues, Myntra, Jabong, Pepperfry, Barista, Food Panda, Nearbuy, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Louis Phillips, GoDaddy, MakeMyTrip.\r\n\r\nIn August 2017, BSNL announced the launch of a bespoke mobile wallet developed and issued by MobiKwik. Within 45 days of its launch, the app claims to have registered over $153K (INR 10 Mn) GMV, and boasts a customer base of 120 Mn.\r\n\r\nAt the time of its launch, Manoj Sinha, Minister for Telecommunications had said, \u201cWith this co-branded wallet, the ease of payment will be extended to all the customers while equally strengthening financial inclusion in the rural hinterlands, which often get neglected. Going digital is the need of an hour for both urban and rural areas, and this partnership is definitely a step in right direction.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe company has raised a total of $151.9 Mn in 6 rounds of funding, to date. It had raised $25 Mn in Series B funding from Tree Line Asia in 2015. Japanese and Taiwanese investors also backed the company for an undisclosed amount in May 2016. This was followed by a strategic partnership agreement between MobiKwik and South Africa\u2019s Net1UEPS and a $40 Mn investment by Net1UEPS.\r\n\r\nIn June this year, MobiKwik co-founder Upasana Taku stated that the digital payments company was in talks to raise a fresh round of $100 Mn-$150 Mn, in a bid to reach a valuation to $1 Bn. \r\n\r\nAs a per a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group, the digital payments industry in India is projected to reach $500 Bn by 2020, contributing 15% to India\u2019s GDP. The partnership between MobiKwik and Bajaj Finance is aimed at leveraging each other\u2019s strengths to gain a stronghold in the country\u2019s fast-growing digital payments market. How well the newly-launched Bajaj Finserv Wallet app performs amidst competition from big players like Paytm and FreeCharge remains to be seen.