Mobile Wallets

India is slowly paving its way towards a cashless society, from those heavy physical wallets to virtual wallets; we’re transforming at a significant pace. Remember those days, when we would carry those bulky wallets full of cash and credit? But all thanks to mobile wallets, for reducing our freight whilst making payments and transactions easier. Now, we can pay for almost any product or service, transfer money, make bill payments, book tickets etc at the comfort of our home. Gone are the days when you had to wait for hours just to get your hands on that ‘first day, first show’ ticket of your favorite movie.

Mobile wallets have made our lives much easier, with its one-tap feature and quick processing all at one-go. Mobile wallets are designed to enable a secure and integrated flow of transactions with hassle-free process. A mobile wallet uses a bank account, credit/debit card information to process payments seamlessly while fully securing all the details of the user. These wallet helps lower the paying processing time, reduce fraud and are economical as compared to other physical wallets.

Demonetization by the Indian government also gave a push to these wallets, and since then, the user base of these wallets have been constantly increasing. Before demonetization, cash transactions accounted for almost 95% of transactions, 85% of people were still paid in cash, and almost 70% of shoppers voted ‘Cash on delivery’ as the most preferred mode of payment. Yet according to some estimates, the India mobile wallet industry is set to grow by 150% next year, with the transactions amounting to $4.4 billion.

Therefore, it’s of pivotal importance to know fully about such an important asset. Read on to gather complete information about mobile wallets, and how they can be beneficial for you.

What is a Mobile Wallet?

Unlike its counterpart like physical wallet, a mobile wallet is a digital wallet in which one can add money through our credit/debit cards and make payments from. It’s basically an electronic prepaid account which can be used to pay anything. From groceries to bill payments to movie tickets, you can make all the transactions through mobile wallets.

All you need to do is, download the app from play-store or app-store, and make an account with the mobile wallet provider. Such wallets are more convenient and provide more security than a traditional business.

What are the advantages of mobile wallets?

According to a 2017 study of Mastercard digital payments study “Mobile wallets continue to gain prominence in smartphones and laptops across the globe and dominated the discussions of new ways to pay. With the topic now topping 75% of conversations tracked in the 2017”. Such a rapid increase in penetration of such wallets is because of the advantages they hold. Some of the advantages of using mobile wallets are-

  1. One-click pay -
    In addition for being convenient, the payments on mobile wallets are quickly processed. A user can pay through such wallets easily and without going through much hassle. A mobile wallet takes information of your debit/credit card, making it easy for you to add money or make payments directly. This easy accessibility and usage help users to accelerate the whole process.

  2. Easily accessible- Such wallets are easily accessible and can be used at any place or time. You just need your mobile phone and a good internet connection to use these wallets. Since you’re never going to leave your cell phones at home, you always have access to cash in any urgent situation.

  3. Multiple uses-
    You can not only make payments through these wallets but can also transfer money, pay bills, shop online etc. These wallets can be used in multiple ways in a fraction of your time.

  4. Robust security features-
    Mobile wallets provide extensive safety and security to your stored money. Most users switch from physical wallets to mobile wallets for an extra layer of protection. Mobile wallets also reduces the chances of money being stolen or lost. Each mobile wallet comes with robust security features to keep all the financial transactions safe and secure.

  5. Several benefits-
    Mobile wallets host several other benefits like loyalty programmes, cashbacks, rewards etc. Mobile wallets like Paytm provides great benefits and cashbacks for purchases made or paid through its wallet. At the same time, a person can also save money through heavy discounts and offers.

How to use mobile wallets?

Follow these simple steps to know about the usage of the mobile wallets-

  1. The first step is to download the app on your android or ios device and sign up with the service using your email id.
  2. In the next step, load or add-money through your debit/credit card or net-banking.
  3. Then you can use that added amount in a number of things. You can also use other services provided by your mobile wallet app.

How does a mobile wallet work?

Mobile wallet functions by using Near-field communication(NFC)- enabled technology or QR code technology. The digitized valuables stored in the wallet is represented in many different forms. These representations are linked to the owner’s sensitive personal information. All the information stored is encrypted or encoded for safety reasons.

To access all the information, a customer simply needs to open the app on their phone, enter a PIN or a passcode. The app utilizes information transfer technology such as NFCs(Near-field communication) to interact with a mobile payment ready payment terminals.

Digital wallet vs Mobile wallet

Mobile wallets Digital wallets
Mobile wallets are payment apps housed on mobile devices, like smartphones and wearables. Consumers using digital wallets, may or may not interact with them on their smartphones.
Consumers mostly use a mobile wallet for in-person transactions. Consumers mostly use a digital wallet for online shopping or purchases.
Some of the most popular mobile wallets are Apple pay, Samsung pay etc. Some of the most popular digital wallets are Paytm, Paypal etc

Concerns over using mobile wallets in India

There are several concerns associated with the use of mobile wallets like-

  1. A person needs a decent smartphone with good internet connectivity to use mobile wallets.
  2. There is a limit on the amount that you can deposit in your mobile wallet, for instance, Paytm allows amount upto ₹20,000 in its wallet.
  3. The number of merchants currently listed or having a tie-up with these wallets are limited. So, you would always need to carry some cash in urgency.
  4. There is a possibility of a possible mobile theft and with that, your personal information may be compromised too.
  5. There are certain infrastructure issues in India, which is also one of the major concern.

Bottom line
The advantages of mobile wallets clearly outweigh its concerns. The penetration of mobile wallets is constantly increasing in India because of the many advantages it’s offering. More and more people are constantly inclining towards mobile wallets, and with that India is moving towards a greater growth.

FAQs of Mobile Wallet

Q. Can you pay utility bills using mobile wallets?

A. Majority of the mobile wallets that are in the industry today, allow the customers to make utility bill payments.

Q. Is there any transaction fee or other charges levied for using a mobile wallet in India?

A. In most mobile wallets, the transaction are free. But in some instances there may be some additional charges. For example if you are paying for a movie ticket via a mobile wallet, you might need to pay a convenience fee. This fee is not levied by the mobile wallet but the source or the service provider.

Q. How can a user load money into his/her mobile wallet?

A. Customers can add money to their mobile wallet accounts by using their bank account, credit card or debit card. The procedure to do the same is as follows:
  • Tap on the add money option in your mobile wallet application
  • Enter the amount of money that you wish to add.
  • Select the payment method.
  • Enter the account/card details.
  • Verify the details through an OTP.

Q. What will happen if there is an error in a transaction but the money gets debited from the wallet?

A.If such a case occurs due to technical glitches, the money will be re-credited to the wallet within a few working days depending on the mobile wallet you have chosen.

Q. Who can a user send money to using a mobile wallet?

A.You can use your mobile wallet to send money to any person

Q. Is there a transaction fee for sending money?

A.Generally, the service is free but this depends from wallet to wallet.

Q. Is there an upper limit on the amount of money that can be sent?

A.Generally, there is no maximum limit but some mobile wallet companies have a certain prescribed limit.

Q. What if money is sent accidentally to a wrong mobile number?

A.In such a case, contact the customer care executive for an immediate refund.

Q. How can a customer make payment through mobile wallets on e-commerce sites?

A.To make an online purchase, go to the online payment gateway and select the respective mobile wallet from the payment mode.

Q. How to view my mobile wallet balance?

A.The mobile wallet balance is generally displayed on the home screen.