eBay office

Payment solution provider Oxigen has partnered with ecommerce marketplace eBay India to give access to its netowrk of 200,000 retail outlets. Oxigen wants to bring an Online-to-Offline (O2O) solution where it will help with bringing a customer on eBay India and provide a mobile wallet solution.

How does it work? A customer can view products listed on eBay through a smartphone or a PC and place an order. Customers can load their Oxigen wallet with cash at the retail store itself and finish the purchase. Over 25,000 Oxigen stores will be enabled for an eBay shopping experience in the coming 12 months. Oxigen’s chairman Pramod Saxena commented that with this model, the company would be promoting “cash-before-delivery” in ecommerce. 

(Nikhil adds: They may be two separate companies, but Ebay’s natural partner is Paypal, which is really nowhere on the scene when it comes to India)

This is not the first time Oxigen has had a O2O deal with an ecommerce company. Back in February, Big Bazaar Direct (the now defunct ecommerce arm of retail provider Big Bazaar) tied up with the company where customers could buy online and pay by cash over the counter for the orders.

O2O models have been relatively harder to crack in India and many ecommerce companies are trying to emulate the success of Alibaba in China. Alibaba has more that 180,000 offline stores across 330 cities in China as part of its omni-channel network. In India, Snapdeal launched Janus, a multi channel platform with focus on offline collaboration. Rival Flipkart had also launched 20 offline centres across 10 cities in India, in conjunction with its logistics partner Ekart, where users could pick up their products from.

Move to other business models 

Traditionally, Oxigen has had an offline presence and operates a strong money transfer service through its wallet. Following the demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes, the company updated that money transfer accounts for 40% of the transactions on the wallet with the average ticket size on money transfers being upwards of  Rs 1500. It also has more than 50 million transactions a month in its retail outlets.

The the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) coming in threatening online wallet’s business, deputy managing director Sunil Kulkarni said that wallets will have to adapt from pure digital plays.

Indeed, retail conglomerate Future Group partnered with Oxigen to handle its loyalty programme through a wallet called Future Pay. All loyalty points from Future Group will be stored on Future Pay. If a customer does not have enough loyalty points to complete the purchase, they can load additional funds through the Oxigen Wallet. Every time a user signs up for Future Pay, they will also get an Oxigen Wallet. Saxena said that it will be signing up with other retail groups to bring their loyalty programmes on their platform, and this way increase the number of wallets from Oxigen and increase usage.