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Are E-Wallets Replacing The Actual Wallet?

27 April 2022

E-Wallets have become a part of our day-to-day life.

It has made our life easier by offering so many services under one platform.

If we want to transfer money to someone, we open don’t open our physical wallet anymore, we open our e-wallet and transfer money instantly!

This is just one of the many services offered by e-wallets.

Our life has become hassle-free with the use of these wallets and also. the way we make payments has revolutionized.

Nowadays, many of us prefer keeping balance in our e-wallets rather than keeping cash in our physical wallets because of the user-friendly platform offered by e-wallets and the fact that it solves our problems by keeping the exact change needed every time we purchase something.

Why E-Wallets?

E-wallet stands for an electronic wallet.

This wallet is a type of electronic card which is used for online transactions done by the user through a computer or a smartphone.

The utility of this wallet is the same as that of a credit or debit card. Except, it’s easier!

An e-wallet is linked with the individual’s bank account to make payments.

The main goal of an e-Wallet is to make easy and hassle-free monetary transactions. E-Wallets help in making faster and more secure payments, as well as online money transfers.

We just have to register ourselves and complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) in order to start using the services offered by the e-wallet.

Types Of E-Wallets

1. Closed Wallet

Closed wallets are wallets that are delivered by a company to a consumer for purchasing goods and services completely from the company that is offering the wallet.

These types of wallets cannot be used for purchasing goods and services from some other website and the amount in this wallet cannot be withdrawn or redeemed. Example: Ola Money.

These types of wallets have become popular and are used by many e-commerce sites. Shopping websites like Flipkart, and Amazon provide their own e-wallet which can be used for buying from their website.

Travel booking websites like goibibo and MakeMyTrip also offer a similar type of wallet to their users and the balance in the wallet can be used for booking through their website or app.

2. Semi-Closed Wallet

Through semi-closed wallets, we can shop & transfer virtual money to anyone in the same wallet network. Semi-closed wallets also allow us in transferring the wallet balance to our bank account.

These wallets have recently become very popular in our country. The wallets are making online shopping very easy and facilitating secured payments.

Paytm is a semi-closed wallet that has become very popular in our country. It has tied up with retailers across the country and is accepted as a mode of payment by most outlets.

Apart from that, it also facilitates electricity bill payment, flight booking, bus booking, mobile recharge, movie ticket purchase, etc.

Recently, they have also come up with a facility for its users to invest in mutual funds using their platform. Another semi-closed wallet that is used in India is free to charge and offers a wide range of services through its app.

3. Open Wallet

Open e-wallets can be issued by banks only and can be used for buying goods and services. It is very similar to a credit card, up to the pre-funded amount.

These wallets can also be used for taking out cash from ATMs or banks and for fund transfers.

Example: M Pesa by Vodafone India with ICICI Bank

Top E-Wallets In India

1. Freecharge

FreeCharge is a subsidiary of Axis Bank. People across India use FreeCharge to make prepaid, postpaid, DTH, and utility bill payments for many service providers.

The wallet was launched in 2015 and clients are already using it to pay across all major online platforms and offline stores.

They offer a chat-n-pay service, which is an engaging and secure way for us to seamlessly chat-n-pay to anyone in less than 5 seconds.

It also facilitates merchants, small or large to accept digital payments in less than 1 minute after registering on their app.

2. Mobikwik

MobiKwik is the country’s largest issuer-independent digital financial services platform. It is a big player in the mobile wallet space in our country and amongst the top 3 players in the payment gateway industry in India.

It has a network of more than 3 million direct merchants, 140 plus billers, and 107 million-plus customers. It records over 1 million transactions per day.

It was founded in 2009 and is backed by investors like Sequoia Capital, American Express, Bajaj Finance, Tree Line Asia, MediaTek, GMO Payment Gateway, Cisco Investments, and Net1.

The company has achieved  4 times growth in transactions on a YoY basis. The brand vision is to help a billion people with one-tap access to digital payments, loans, investments, and insurance by the year 2022.

3. Airtel Money

Airtel Money was launched by Airtel and is the e-wallet of Airtel Payments Bank.

The app can be used to do mobile prepaid recharge, postpaid bill payment, broadband bill payment, electricity bills, gas bills, and insurance premiums.

It can also be used to shop online with amazing cashback and discounts on a movie, bus/ flight tickets, hotel bookings, etc. It also facilitates instant payments through UPI. Money can be transferred to bank accounts, using Airtel Money.

5. Paytm

Paytm provides complete payment services for its clients and merchants.

They provide mobile payment solutions to over 7 million merchants and allow their clients to make seamless mobile payments using cards, bank accounts, and digital credit.

Recently, they have also launched Paytm Payment Bank and are planning to bring banking and financial services to half a billion un-served and under-served Indians. Their investors include Softbank, Alibaba Group, and Ant Financial.

You may also want to read 10 Digital Banking features you need to know about

Conclusion

India is experiencing tremendous growth in digital financial transactions.

It all started as a convenient mode of payment for booking cabs and ordering meals. Now, mobile wallets are present in smartphones, especially post-demonetization.

From bill payments to transferring money, India has seen a huge transformation in the way we have started preferring e-wallets over physical wallets.

Today, I can step out on the road without any money and still travel, still buy a meal, and return home without any inconvenience!

This is just the first step. There’s more to come.

Disclaimer: The view expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww

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