Reliance Industries’ payment solutions subsidiary Reliance Payment Solutions Ltd is the latest company to have received prepaid mobile wallet license by the Reserve Bank of India, for a prepaid payment instrument called ‘Jio Money’.
This will enable the company to offer their customers semi-closed prepaid wallets, which allows them to store money in these wallets and purchase goods & services offered through third party merchants, however it doesn’t allow users to withdraw money from the wallet.
Reliance Payment Solutions currently offers a prepaid card called R-Pay card which allows users to load money, pay for their purchases and send money to other R-Pay users and to Bank accounts and a digital wallet service called R-Pay Wallet which securely stores the user’s R-Pay Card and provides an option for users to store their credit, debit cards and bank accounts details and facilitate payment at various online and physical merchants.
The service offers two types of accounts – R-Express which allows users to load up to Rs 10,000 per month and R-Premium which allows users to load up to Rs 50,000 on daily basis.
Its also worth noting that Reliance Industries had been shortlisted by public sector banks earlier this year, to manage and deploy at least 2 million Point-of-sale (POS) debit and credit card swipe machines across merchants in smaller towns over the next two years. There was also talks of RIL forming a joint venture with American Express to offer financial services, including a payment gateway back in May 2011, although there is no further updates on this development.
Other entity which has received prepaid wallet licenses is Tech Mahindra for a prepaid payment instrument called MoboMoney, which was previously being operated by Tech Mahindra’s wholly owned VAS subsidiary CanvasM Technologies.
In August 2013, One97 Communications (Paytm) and MobiKwik had received prepaid wallet licenses from RBI while Beam Money had surrendered their prepaid wallet license in July 2013, saying it did not make financial sense for Beam Money to have a semi-closed wallet, since it did not allow users to withdraw money from the wallet.
What about Flipkart Prepaid Wallet? It’s worth noting that e-commerce major Flipkart had also applied for a prepaid wallet license for its PayZippy prepaid card service, but it has not been able to get a license yet. Flipkart had to apply for a prepaid wallet license when they shifted from a direct to consumer e-commerce business to a marketplace model, due to which vendors became “sellers” and Flipkart could not allow third party payments without a semi closed prepaid wallet system, as per the RBI regulations.
Idea Cellular Prepaid Wallet: Last week, Idea Cellular MD Himanshu Kampania had disclosed during its earnings call, that they had applied for a semi-closed prepaid payments license and are currently awaiting its approval. Note that Idea Cellular already has a partnership with Axis Bank for mobile money transfer services, if and when it does get the license.