(by Diwaskar Chettri & Nikhil Pahwa)
Microsoft funded Oxigen Services India has partnered with UK based World Dating Partners, a backend service provider for matrimonial and dating websites, to launch MyCupid.in, a new matrimony & dating site. MyCupid users need to create online profile to use services like chat, emails, online voice messages etc. Users can also download chat applications and use email match service, SuperMatch Wizard, which helps users find an ideal date, and EarlyBird which notifies users through email of the new members that have joined and fit the users preferences.
While the basic membership is free, one month silver, gold and platinum membership will cost a user Rs 423.16, Rs 732.41 and Rs 1491.64 respectively. Lifetime gold membership comes for Rs 8334.29 and lifetime platinum membership comes for Rs 11649.95. A platinum member gets access to full lists of new members, appears on featured members lists, priority and highlighting on the search listings, highlighted e-mail, personalised support, on-line psychologist for advice etc.
The MyCupid site lacks finesse and focus, and is overrun with promotions for Oxigen’s Oxicash and its features. Oxigen needs to decide whether it intends to run a matrimonial/dating site, or just push its payment systems product.
Payment is allowed only via Oxicash, and it looks more like a deterrent for consumers to purchase. In comparison, dedicated matrimony service site like Consim Info’s BharatMatrimony seems to have a slight advantage over MyCupid. It has more payment options including collection from home and tie-up with HDFC and Andhra Bank, comparitively in MyCupid payment is only through Oxycash.
Frankly, it’s a dating site platform being used as a “dating and matrimonial site”. From what we hear, Indian matrimonial sites are also at times used as dating sites.