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Online cab aggregator Ola has launched a separate Android app for Ola Money, which can do mobile recharges, money transfers and be used to transact on platforms like OYO Rooms, Saavn, Lenskart, Zo Rooms and TinyOwl. It currently offers cashbacks from Zoomin, Planhound, Amex, Zopper and MyBusTickets among others, some of which are its partners.

Released on 10 November, the app has 100-500 installs on the Play Store. Ola claims that 40 million users will be able to use the app across online and offline merchants. The company adds that Ola Money will also be able to make utility bill payments across online and offline merchants and payment gateways.

In August, Ola announced that Ola Money could be used to pay for other companies like Oyo Rooms, Lenskart and Saavn among others across India, get promotional cashbacks and discounts from merchants in the initial roll out integration. In March, Ola had told MediaNama that its in-app wallet Ola Money was a closed system payment instrument and that it had tied up with ZipCash for its wallet services. Closed system payment instruments do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption. As such, these instruments cannot facilitate payments and settlement for third-party services.

Users can use credit and debit cards along with net banking to add money to their Ola Money and do transactions worth Rs 10,000 in a month. It can also be upgraded to Rs 100,000 with a KYC proof of identity and address.

MediaNama’s take: This is essentially a good move by Ola, given that Ola users who do not want to pay with Ola Money or have balance in their Ola Money will be able to use it for transactions outside the platform. Also, instead of launching a wallet which would work only with Ola, its cross functionality across other merchants encourages users to sign up and use it across Ola’s merchant network. Likewise, TinyOwl, which had its own wallet, last month tied up with Citrus to enable users to use money in the TinyOwl wallet, which could then only be used on TinyOwl, could be used across Citrus’ merchants. However, Ola will also have to be cautious about the fact that ghost payments could be made without the user’s consent for trips they never took, like Uber faced in China.

Competition:

– Paytm recently expanded its platform to add insurance payments, would launch hotel bookings in its next update, and add movie and entertainment tickets on its platform. In August, Paytm claimed to have crossed 100 million users in the country, while carrying out over 75 million transactions per month. Our Paytm coverage here.

– Earlier this month, Oxigen Services announced that it would be hiving off its online businesses, which includes its digital wallet, into a separate entity known as Phi Enterprises.

– Last month, Citrus Payment Solutions raised an undisclosed amount Series C funding  and acqui-hired the payments startup Zwitch for an undisclosed amount.

– In the same month, Payments company MobiKwik claimed to have processed 500,000 transactions in the last three months, amounting to over Rs 60 crore.

Find our digital payments coverage here.