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Ola says that Ola Money, its in-app digital payments solution, saw a 1500% increase in recharge from 8:30 – 12 pm on 8 November following the devaluation of Rs 1000 notes by the Indian government. This was across its 102 cities.

Ola said that the wallet also saw a 15x increase in the last 12-15 hours, whereas in smaller towns and cities like Nagpur, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Jaipur, which usually relies on cash payments, the growth was 30x. It mentioned that now a majority of its rides are being paid for using Ola Money as opposed to cash. An interesting anecdote: Salman SH adds that when he takes an Ola cab in Coimbatore, the drivers usually cancel the ride if he says the payment is through Ola Money.

Ola Money began as a closed system payment instrument in 2014 and tied up with ZipCash in August 2015 to offer the wallet service to other companies as well.

In June, Ola Money partnered with online marketplaces eBay and YepMe. At the time, Pallav Singh, SVP and head of Ola Money, said that the 3 ecommerce sites had over 100,000 registered merchants registered on them and will help increase usage. In March, Ola Money could be used to recharge prepaid metrocards for Mumbai Metro as well as pay for tickets booked at Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation’s (RSRTC) online portal.

In November last year, Ola launched a separate Android app for Ola Money, which could do mobile recharges, money transfers and be used on other platforms. In August last year, Ola Money was made a payment mode for Oyo Rooms, Lenskart and Saavn among others across India.

As of now, Ola Money is accepted at over 500 offline and online merchants across utilities, food, entertainment, ticketing and travel, recharge, shopping etc. Some of its partners include Dominos, Pizza Hut, Cafe Coffee Day, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, Box8, Healthkart and Zerch. Ola claims that it has millions of customers for Ola Money and can be recharged using net banking and credit and debit cards.

Uber’s India wallet

In February we reported that Uber was working on a closed wallet service in India. Uber confirmed the development in a PTI report and said that it found the RBI’s diktat on two factor authentication for card payments too cumbersome, and was hence looking to launch its own service for payments. In India, Uber rides can be paid for through Paytm wallets, Airtel Money, debit and credit cards, and cash.