The wallet space in India continues to heat up. Remittance and foreign currency exchange player UAE Exchange has launched XPay Wallet which will offer foreign exchange services through the mobile wallet, other than services like ticket booking, loans, money transfer and prepaid mobile top-up.
UAE Exchange has a semi-closed prepaid payments instrument licence from the Reserve Bank of India and also has permission from the apex bank to accept cross-border inbound money transfers. According to the RBI website, UAE Exchange got its wallet licence in 2009 and will be valid till October 2017.
The company says that XPay has been structured to optimize the services and help in minimizing the time consumed in the currency exchange processes. The digital route also enables online foreign exchange booking and home delivery facilities. In addition, the app will allow users to buy currency or cards, send money abroad and check live rates of currencies.
Domestic services include wallet-to-wallet transfers, wallet-to-bank transfers, merchant payments, mobile recharge, DTH recharge and wallet top-up. The app also allows flight searches and booking of airline tickets. XPay also offers payments solutions through quick response (QR) code.
Currently, there are no digital wallet operators in India which offer foreign currency services. UAE Exchange is uniquely positioned as a financial services company which can offer both wallet and foreign exchange services and has the RBI’s permission for it. Apart from that, the only other financial institutions which can provide these services are commercial banks themselves. It’s also worth noting that the RBI allowed to issue open system rupee denominated non-reloadable PPIs to non-resident Indians and foreign nationals visiting India & PPIs co-branded with exchange houses/money transmitters last year. Perhaps there’s opportunity here as well.
Other wallet developments
– Mobile commerce marketplace and digital wallet Paytm announced its plans to add movie and entertainment tickets on its platform later this week. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chairman of Paytm said that it was planning to create a marketplace for entertainment tickets with deals and offers.
– In recent times, online recharge and couponing service Freecharge launched its wallet with private sector lender YES Bank. India’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank also launched a mobile app which integrates wallets, banking, payments and shopping called Lime.
– The RBI also granted a wallet license to Eko India Financial Services, Card Pro Financial Services and Paul Fincap Private Limited. The RBI website shows that Eko Financial Services got its license in March 2015 and is valid up to March 2020. Card Pro Solutions and Paul Fincap’s licenses are valid up to June 2020 and were issued in June 2015.
– In July, Telecom operator Aircel through its subsidiary, Aircel Smart Money Limited, secured a five-year prepaid mobile wallet license from the RBI enabling them to provide mobile wallet services to its subscribers, as reported by the Economic Times. Aircel is the sixth operator to receive the wallet license after Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular and Tata DOCOMO.