CGomEEOUYAA1GXxBipin Preet Singh, founder & CEO of  mobile wallet firm, MobiKwik, did a Reddit Ask Me Anything session taking questions from Reddit users. Some of the questions about the company’s customer service were particularly interesting: (questions and answers have been edited for brevity)

Question: From past 2-3 years I haven’t used Mobikwik at all. Once I did recharge of some 250-300, I never received that recharge nor I got my money back, on top of it, your customer care wasn’t helpful at all. Even among my friends circles, I have many disappointed with Mobikwik’s customer service.

  1. That said, do you planning anything to improve it?
  2. I have observed, on many cashback offers, Mobikwik always requires using real credit card or debit card, but fails when Virtual Card is used. Why so?
  3. For #2, if reason is to prevent abuse, you can always restrict the offer to a single number. So why not this?
  4. Why Indian companies hardly allow remote? Whats your view on remote working culture? Does Mobikwik has fully remote employees?
  5. Why Indian companies hardly contribute to open source?
  6. Does Mobikwik has any policy for employees to contribute back to OSS, say for 5 hours in a week?
  7. Indian startups/companies are always stereotyped as having bad security practises. I have read about Ola and Freecharge on this sub. So what do you say about this? Do Indian companies really ignore security practises?
  8. Why Indian companies don’t have bug bounty programme? Does Mobikwik.com has one? If not, why? if yes, link please.
  9. What do I do, to improve hacker culture in India?
  10. Do you code? Which is your favourite programming language and why?
  11. What are your favorite books? and which book you read recently?

Bipin:  Yes, I believe we had issues given our scale, but its far better now.

  1. Virtual cards are typically used to work around terms and conditions like card checks.
  2. People complain when they don’t get OTP and are using another phone.
  3. We are too small right now – energy and passion have to be there but its not a closed option.
  4. No time boss !
  5. Not yet, but good idea !
  6. Can’t say about others, we take it very seriously.
  7. Yes, there is one. Will email you.
  8. Code, Code and produce more Code.
  9. Yes, I coded the first version of MobiKwik in Java/Mysql. I still access db and go through code.
  10. Not much time to read, but liked the immortals of meluha.

Question: Mobikwik claims: It offers payment by credit card, debit card, net banking, and even cash pay.

However, Payment by Cash is NOT available. It may lose credibility by such false statements.

Bipin: We have a cash pay service where you can deposit cash into your nearest ICICI bank branch and it shows up instantly in your wallet. You don’t need to have a bank account for this.

Our mission to reduce cash and you will soon see more around this.

Also read from MediaNama: Mobikwik wallet users can now load cash at ICICI Bank branches

Question:

  1. PayTM is literally giving away money to gain users. Does MobiKwik has a chance to compete against them ?
  2. In your opinion who is best positioned to win the wallet wars and become PayPal of India or do you expect multiple players to exist at the same time ?
  3. @Zaakpay : What does razorpay offers that zaakpay does not offer ?
  4. Does Mobikwik has plans to offer ebay style market place ? (aka become like PayTM) ?

Bipin:

  1. We have millions of users and adding millions more. Nothing to worry on that front.
  2. I think at least 2 players will be there
  3. Sorry, what is razorpay? Zaakpay is our PG.
  4. No, we don’t.

Also read from MediaNama: One wallet to pay for them all: Pay with Mobikwik for tickets on MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Yatra & Goibibo 

Question: One thing clear. Customer Care people really know how to piss off user’s against asking again n again.They will took a month answer with some default templates.

Bipin: Its something we continue working on and aspire to improve. Try out our new Help section with threaded conversations.

Question: Is it true that you folks deliberately do not keep anything like a call center to make more money in this business.

It’s obviously true man. I have seen quite a lot of people who lost money on Mobikwik (while doing mobile recharges 100 rupees). I have lost 1200+ These idiots just have an automated text response to every ticket, that everything is working fine on their end.

Bipin: Sorry about that. Someone is on it already.

paybackmobikwik

Question: Why are debit/credit card payments preferred more over net banking? All the discount codes are only applicable on card and not on net banking.

Bipin: I don’t like netbanking. The experience is very poor and non-standard. We want people to use their cards. Also, fraud is better managed with cards. In general, internet banking is not meant for payments – it is a casual fix.

Question: There seems to be very less information about you.

  1. What are you educational qualifications and prior work experience?
  2. How did the idea about MobiKwik strike?
  3. I haven’t used your app, what is the USP in your app that isn’t present in other apps?
  4. How are you handling security in this app?

Bipin:

  1. IIT Delhi 2002 – worked as chip designer at Intel Bangalore, then at Nvidia architecting MCP’s and then at Freescale architecting chips for Motorola.
  2. I was a prepaid user – did not like the idea of going to shop every time. Or paying through card every time. Thought a virtual wallet would make it easier.
  3. App is very light ( < 2MB) , very fast for your everyday purchases and payments. You can’t do pass through txns, only pay through wallet – which means payments are very fast. We care about things like data packets consumed on your connection and optimize everything to make sure it works even on EDGE. 

Question: How are you managing privacy with Mobikwik? I’ve been wary of using mobile payments cos I don’t want to hand over access to all my private stuff. Is that an issue that I need to be concerned about?

Bipin: We have a fairly comprehensive privacy policy. You could see that on the website. We don’t disclose any of your information including PII ( Personally Identifiable Information) with any third party. Your card information as well as your wallet money is saved in secure infra.

Also read from MediaNama: MobiKwik adds two-step authentication and self destruct features to its app

Question: What is the future of online wallets like MobiKwik? Currently, it is largely bridging a need gap – being the intermediary for small merchants so that they don’t have to invest in 2-factor authentication. But what after RBI reduces stringency in its rules?

Bipin: Its not just a two-factor authentication fix. We are bringing new debit card users into digital transactions mix. This is real impact. Remember, India has 250 million smartphone/internet users but only 35-40 million pay online.

Only 7 lakh SME’s accept electronic payments. This is huge opportunity to convert to electronic and replace cash.

Question: Do you see mobile banking from SBI as a challenge for wallets?

Bipin: In long-term, mobile banking does compete with wallets. However, it is hard for banks to compete with us – biggest ones move very slowly and we are seeing adoption faster than smaller ones. We are changing our product as we speak, and tech is our strength – we do everything including client, design, product, infra, security in-house. And this makes a big difference.

Also read from MediaNama: MobiKwik raises $25 million from Tree Line Asia, Sequoia, Cisco Investments and AmEx

Question:  Just downloaded Mobikwik and googled you and wanted to ask you a few questions.

  1. What are you planning to do with the $25mn you raised in Series B?
  2. Apart from the fact that the APP is very light there seems to be nothing redeeming about Mobikwik, the APP UI/UX seems to be exactly the same or in some case worse than PayTM and Freecharge why would you sacrifice focus to be a me too!

Bipin:

  1. Build a strong team and invest in innovation. Some branding as well.

  2. MobiKwik is the only true wallet app IMHO – you can’t do anything without a wallet experience which is very fast. Recharge or Bill Pay is very fast which is the whole idea. You can do any payment within app without using your phone keyboard ! We are bringing the same experience to other apps – try booking a movie ticket on PVR – you do it within its app and no redirects !

Also read from MediaNama: MobiKwik partners with Payback in a bid to expand customer base

Question: One can easily look at the android app code find your API calls and figure out what is happening in your app. Security through obscurity is not security. The purpose of obfuscation should be to prevent people from stealing code. It’s not a security mechanism. At best, it can make it a little more difficult.

When doing a security audit of your application, you should assume people know what’s happening in your application.

Bipin: We pro-guard our apps religiously. Security is something critical when it comes to handling money. If you find a hack, do report to me on my email.

Question: Please DO NOT make your iPad app landscape! It’s such a pain in the ass! Landscape is good for games and some novelty purposes, not for recharging my phone!

Bipin: Getting rid of the iPad app – it’s hard to maintain. We launched it when iPhone app on iPad was pretty poor experience.

Editors note: A previous version of this story cited Mobkwik as India’s first mobile wallet company. It isn’t. We’ve edited that bit out