FreeCharge Wallet claims to have crossed 10 million users in 60 days of its launch. The company mentions that it is currently adding a million users every 5 days, with the goal of reaching 35 million registered users by March 2016. However, it did not provide any transactional data.
Note that in September, Freecharge launched its digital wallet in partnership with the private sector lender YES Bank. The wallet enables payments for consumers using technologies such as host card emulation (HCE), near field communications (NFC), QR codes and Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
In October, FreeCharge Wallet claimed to have crossed 5 million mobile wallet users within 4 weeks of its launch. The company mentioned then that on an average, users transacted over 5 times a month, while an average of 50% users transacted every month on Freecharge. The same month, it also started using Aadhaar UID as the primary KYC tool for opening and upgrading wallets.
Other wallets: In August, Paytm claimed to have crossed 100 million users in the country, carrying out over 75 million transactions a month. MobiKwik on the other hand, claims to have 17 million users in the country, while Citrus Pay claims to have a registered user base of 15 million.
Acquisition by Snapdeal: In April, FreeCharge was acquired by ecommerce player Snapdeal for a reported $450 million, the biggest deal in the Indian consumer internet industry. Snapdeal added that the wallet was in line with the company’s vision of enabling a culture of digital payments through multiple partnerships.
Freecharge had also partnered with FINO Paytech, an alternate banking channel and payments bank licensee, to build scale and reach the underserved. It’s worth noting that FINO got its semi-closed prepaid payment instrument license renewed by the Reserve Bank of India in August.
Other developments at FreeCharge:
– Earlier this month, FreeCharge announced that it would be the on-ground partner for the IPL for the next two years. Previously, smartphone maker Micromax held the rights for a year, after STAR group and Sahara held the rights in the preceding years.
– In October, the company launched a beta Android app called Juice which tracks talktime and data balance and supports operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, BSNL, Reliance GSM and Aircel.
– The same month, it launched an online facility for smart card users of Mumbai Metro.
– In February, Freecharge raised $80 million from San Francisco-based hedge fund Valiant Capital Management and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital Management, with participation from existing investors.