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Xiaomi ties up with MobiKwik to launch instant DTH and mobile recharges

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Xiaomi smartphone users can now make a ‘one-touch-recharge’ to DTH or mobile operators, which will be hosted by payments company MobiKwik. The Chinese smartphone maker and MobiKwik has partnered for launching the feature on devices running MIUI8—Xiaomi’s custom Android firmware. Note that the feature is somewhat similar to Android Pay app, or Apple Pay, which is yet to be fully launched in India.

When users receives a service SMS from their telecom or DTH operator regarding low balance or outstanding bill payment, Xiaomi will place a ‘Recharge Now’ button within the SMS for instant recharge through the MobiKwik payments platform. In addition, users can create reminders to make automated recharges or bill payments by syncing their MobiKwik account with their Mi Account.

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Users can make mobile recharges/bill payments for Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, MTS, BSNL, Jio, Docomo, Idea, Telenor, Reliance, TATA Indicom, and DTH operators including Dish TV, TATA Sky, Reliance Digital TV, SUN Direct, and Videocon D2H.

Competition: Xiaomi isn’t the first smartphone maker to introduce instant payments:

Apple Pay: The Cupertino-based company had officially launched a TouchID (fingerprint) & NFC-based mobile wallet service called Apple Pay in September 2014 that allowed users to pay for buy physical goods and services, limited to US. The feature was extended on Apple’s Safari browser last month, allowing users to make payments across Apple’s partner merchants and authenticate it using an Apple Watch or Touch ID on iPhones

Android Pay: At Google’s I/O developer conference held last year, the search giant unveiled an open platform API called Android Pay to enable its users to make payments from credit cards within the Android app. In April, Google began process of shutting down its physical NFC-based payment service Google Wallet, which was launched in October 2012. Google had updated the Wallet service to enable peer to peer payments in September 2015. At the same time, it had introduced the NFC Card which let users to spend money at physical stores or withdraw it from an ATM.

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Shashi adds: As we had mentioned before, Apple Pay and Android Pay stores card details on the app, and issues a token for them. However this would require many tie-ups with banks and these payments systems are directly linked to cards and they would probably treated as card-not-present transactions for which the RBI insists on two-factors of authentication. This would defeat the purpose of one-touch payments.

Semi-closed wallets such as Paytm and MobiKwik allows users to store a small amount of money and bypass the additional factor of authentication. It looks like Xiaomi has got a one up on Android and Apple to facilitate one-touch payments in smartphones through MobiKwik.

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