wallets

There’s a new player in the already crowded prepaid wallet space. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted a prepaid payments instrument to Hyderabad-based Kedia Infotech Limited which runs a recharge and bill payment service called eSevaworld. The RBI website shows that the company got its wallet licence in July and is valid up to September 2020.

Kedia Infotech which also has a hardware and software business, began the recharge service in 2007 and claims that it has 700 touch points in the country with around 1.2 million customers mostly around Assam, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking to MediaNama at the sidelines of an event, Abhishek Kedia, chief operating officer at the company explained that they are currently acquiring merchants for the platform. Kedia further explained that the company wants to enable payments via mobile numbers. “When you go into a merchant’s shop you have to do a transaction from a smartphone and share some details with him and that’s when it gets executed. We’re talking about where users can walk into a store and share his mobile number and a pull transaction can be initiated. We can authenticate payments via an OTP which the customer gets and will have to share with the merchant.”

The company has also tied up with Kotak Mahindra Bank which acts as an escrow for the money stored in the wallet and will be partnering with other banks.

Kedia also added that they are targeting customers of regional and urban co-operative banks and bringing their customers on board their wallet. “With larger banks they have huge compliance requirements and big hurdles. So we targeted a different sector and looked at co-operative banks. We’ll host the wallet for them, create it for customers and offer services,” he explained. Currently, the company says it has three cooperative banks on board its wallet and will look to get 25-30 more by the end of the year.

Other wallet entrants

– In July, it was reported that the RBI gave Eko India Financial Services, Card Pro Solutionsand Paul Fincap Private Limited prepaid payments instruments licenses to operate a wallet in the country.

– Earlier in the year, telecom operator Aircel through its subsidiary, Aircel Smart Money Limited, secured  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.

– Mobile VAS and Internet products company Spice Digital too received a semi-closed pre-paid payments wallet license this year. Spice Digital said that the wallet would be called Spice Mudra and would focus on domestic remittances.

– In September, 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.