cmn_Freecharge

Snapdeal-owned FreeCharge has signed a deal with payment gateway provider PayUbiz, where it will allow customers of FreeCharge to access to over 10,000 online merchants registered with PayUbiz. The alliance will also allow FreeCharge Wallet as a payment option in PayUbiz’s merchant websites.

Apart from this, merchants on PayUbiz will now have direct access to Freecharge’s user base. At the same time, Freecharge will be able to acquire newer customers, and enter newer merchant categories as a payment option, added a statement from the company.

A similar tie up was announced with payment gateway CCAvenue in March. Customers of FreeCharge were provided access to over one lakh merchants of the payment gateway. The association also allowed FreeCharge as a payment option in CCAvenue’s merchant websites.

Last month, Axis Bank and FreeCharge had partnered to allow its users to make payments through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Through this, FreeCharge users will be allowed to load money into their wallets through the UPI option which will be powered by Axis Bank’s SDK.

Online and Offline expansion

FreeCharge has been stepping up its business strategy by extending its payment services to both online and offline merchants. Last month, it introduced an escrow service for merchants, wherein the money is held within the escrow service until the product is delivered to the user.

Earlier in March, the wallet started allowing users to transfer money from their digital wallet to other users, as well as registered merchants via a “chat and pay” feature.  Merchants are also allowed to upgrade their payment limits of Rs 1,00,000 with necessary KYC verification.

In February, it tied up with mobile POS solution provider Ezetap to enable Freecharge’s customers to make payments across Ezetap’s service points. In January, the company launched FreeCharge Go – a virtual card which can be used to make payments across all online merchants in India, in association with YES Bank and MasterCard.

Wallet transactions v/s Mobile banking

A digital payments report from Google and the Boston Consulting said prepaid instrument (wallet) transactions grew 124% to 747 million in FY16 from 66 million transactions in FY13. In contrast, mobile banking transactions grew by 94% from 53 million transactions in FY13 to 387 million transactions in FY16.

However, transaction size in mobile banking is significantly higher with an average Rs 10,394 per transaction in FY16, while prepaid instruments had a lower average transaction size of Rs 618 in the same financial year.