India’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has launched a new mobile app called Lime which integrates a mobile wallet, shopping, payments and banking. The new app is open to customers from other banks as well. Note that this app is only available for Android devices at the moment.
As a wallet, Lime allows users to load money from their debit and credit cards and through net banking. The wallet will have a four digit mPIN as authentication. The application also has a shared wallet feature where multiple users can access it and withdraw from it. It also has a pool money function where users can put funds in a shared wallet for a particular puspose and can be refunded later equally or in proportion.
The app also allows users to compare and shop for products across online shopping portals within the app itself. Users can also book flights, buses and movie tickets. The app can handle proximity payments at offline merchants through a combination of sound and Bluetooth frequencies, (we’d first seen this with iKaaz’s MOWA terminal which could handle proximity payments without NFC), although we’re thinking that this would require an extensive roll out of terminals which can accept these payments.
Rajiv Anand, head of retail banking at Axis Bank, also mentioned that the app will have a floating buy-via-Lime button while shopping on other shopping apps and websites. On choosing the option, users will be redirected to Lime Pay which can enable one-touch and secure payments from the wallet.
In addition, LIME can also handle mobile and DTH recharges, bill payments, peer-to-peer money transfers, split bills and track expenses. The app allows users to initiate and complete KYC process using Aadhar from their mobile to setup a savings account in Axis Bank. Once a savings bank account is enabled and linked to the app, it will give access to other core banking features from Axis Bank.
Note that earlier this year Axis Bank introduced multi-social payment solution ‘Ping Pay’ to enable customers with smart phones to transfer funds, person to person, including to non-Axis Bank account-holders, using varied social media channels.
Competition from other banks
– In February, ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender launched a new digital payments product for mobiles, which integrates a digital wallet, a physical prepaid card and a basic savings bank account called Pockets.
– HDFC Bank introduced a mobile application called PayZapp which brings together hundreds of e-commerce platforms on it and allows consumers to pay via a wallet.
– State run telecom operator BSNL partnered with Pyro, a telecom, financial and analytics company, along with Andhra Bank and Visa to announce SpeedPay, a semi closed open prepaid instrument.
– In July, Citibank India and MasterCard launched a global digital wallet called Citi MasterPass for the lender’s Indian card customers where they will be able to shop at more than 250,000 e-commerce merchants located in India and around the world. The wallet stores Citibank customers’ card and shipping information and customers can use the “Buy with MasterPass” option while shopping online which reduces the need to fill in details repeatedly across online merchants.
Note: Axis Bank launched the application in the presence of its brand ambassador and Bollywood star Deepika Padukone. Owing to her celebrity status, many questions on how the application works could not be asked by journalists, while many queries regarding the actress’ upcoming movies dominated the discussion. We apologize if the details in this report were found lacking. Maybe a deeper discussion with the bank is needed separately.