Idea Money, Idea Cellular’s prepaid wallet service, has slowly been increasing its number of registered users. At the end of the March 2017 quarter (Q4FY17), Idea Money had 11.01 million registered wallets growing 57.2% from around 7 million wallets last quarter. In the same quarter last year, the number of wallets was 2.05 million.

The total number of transactions stood at 6.89 million, growing from 3.5 million transactions year on year. Compared to the previous quarter, the total number of transactions increased 66.49% from 4.14 million. The value of the transactions was Rs 296.1 crore, growing from Rs 140.1 crore in the preceding quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the value of transactions increased from Rs 40.5 crore.

The company also said that the Idea Money wallet also has a domestic money remittance service through a retailer-assisted model. The total amount processed during FY17 stood at Rs 11,860 million.

The company has also enabled a USSD-based platform which allows merchants and customers to process digital payments. USSD is a technology that allows wallet payments to customers who do not have access to a smartphone or internet data. More details here.  Idea Money is currently available in 17 circles where the telecom operator is present. Some of its online and merchants include BookMyshow, KFC, Dominos, Yepme, MakeMyTrip and IRCTC.

Payments bank operations 

Idea was also one of 11 applicants to get a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India. It had applied for a Payments Banks license in a 49:51 joint venture with Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited. On April 03, 2017, Aditya Birla Payments Bank Limited received a license from RBI. The payments bank services are slated to be launched in Q2FY18 after necessary regulatory approvals.

Vodafone India will soon be merging with Idea Cellular; however, both the companies have not discussed what they will do with their payments businesses. Vodafone m-Pesa’s active user-base stood at 1.3 million as of Q1FY6. The number of m-Pesa agents stood at 120,000. Vodafone, like Idea, also has a payments bank licence.