It seems like the E-commerce major Flipkart has added a new ‘Wallet‘ feature to enable customers store money in their Flipkart account and redeem it on future purchases. Flipkart Wallet works on a prepaid credit system: you can top up your wallet with any desirable amount up to Rs 10,000 by using any one of its regular payment modes like credit card, debit card, and net-banking. This amount will then be reflected as prepaid credit on your account and can be used as a payment mode for all forthcoming purchases on the portal. Expectedly, this amount will be deducted from the balance in your account’s wallet.

You can keep track of your Wallet balance by either heading over to your Flipkart account or viewing the wallet balance at the top. However, if you run out of balance on your wallet before making a purchase, Flipkart allows you to make a partial payment using your Wallet and pay the remaining amount using other payment modes like credit card, debit card, and net-banking. Flipkart does point out that cash-on-delivery payment mode cannot be combined with a Wallet payment.

We assume that this is Flipkart’s way of bypassing payment gateway problems and also facilitate frequent shoppers. As said earlier, there are other players in the country like MobiKwik and PayTM* which offer online wallet services called ‘MobiKwik Balance’ and ‘Paytm Cash’ respectively, indicating the impact of unreliable payment gateways on online transactions in India. While MobiKwik Balance  allows customers to add money into their account to allow multiple purchases like online recharge for prepaid mobile phones, DTH and datacards, PayTM Cash allows you to store money in a wallet for future transactions on its portal.

While this feature might not be quite significant right now, we expect this to play a major role in Fipkart’s forthcoming digital distribution strategy which is expected to be in place by the end of next year, where small individual transactions like song and game purchases might be involved.

The company had recently claimed to ship around 20 units every minute, with 65% of the purchases being made through Cash On Delivery (COD). The company had also hoped to grow its sales by more than ten fold this financial year.

Earlier this week, Flipkart had acquired the rights to the digital catalogue of a Bollywood site including 40,000 filmographies, 10,000 movies and close to 50,000 ratings. Prior to that, it had acquired a Mumbai based business digital content platform company, Mime360 to enter the digital distribution space.

Anupam adds: Why not offer incentives like added discounts and cash-backs to customers who use the online wallet? This will push user adoption and reward frequent buyers.

Corrigendum: We’d mentioned in this post that 30-40% were Flipkart’s return rates. Flipkart informs us that those were not their return rates, only what they saw in the market before beginning cash on delivery.

*Disclosure: PayTM is an Advertiser with MediaNama

– With Scale, Edge Cases Become Very Real – Vaibhav Gupta, VP Products, Flipkart
– We Plan To Complete Our Digital Distribution Rollout By End Of Next Year – Binny Bansal, COO, Flipkart
– Flipkart Acquires Mime360; To Launch Digital Distribution Of Music, E-books, Games