Future Pay, the mobile wallet from the Future Group, has 1.2 million “users” or customers, who have in excess of Rs 42 crore wallet “uploads”, the company has said in its annual report. The Future Pay wallet is essentially linked to the Oxigen wallet, and was launched in October last year. Future Group doesn’t have a wallet license from the RBI. The wallet works for all Future Retail stores (including Biz Bazaar, Hometown, ezone etc), and links all coupons, loyalty cards in a single app, apart from also providing comparison shopping and virtual receipts. At the time when the app was launched, Oxigen’s chairman Pramod Saxena had told MediaNama that all loyalty points from Future Group will be stored on Future Pay, and if a customer does not have enough loyalty points to complete the purchase, they can load additional funds through the Oxigen Wallet. Future Pay also allows users to redeem points from Payback.
The comparison shopping bit is interesting: Future Group the app allows users to scan their invoices and then compares the prices of products with competitors using a third party database which has both online and offline stores listed, and adds the difference to the customers Future Pay wallet as a cashback for using in later purchases. The company said that during the financial year (ended 31st March 2017), around 300,000 price comparisons were done via the application.
Note that Future Group reported over 300 million customers in FY17, generating more than 143 million bills, buying 1.2 billion units of merchandise.
The Future Pay app was launched just before demonetization, and the company said that soon afterwards, the share of digital transactions “touched 80%”. “Within a week of its announcement, we could enable our point of sales machines to be used as ATMs by our customers”. The company then allowed over 21 different payment options to customers, it says.
- 1.2 million Future Pay wallet users
- Rs 42 crores wallet uploads
- 300,000 price comparisons on Future Pay
- 30 million users on loyalty program, visiting stores an average of 18 times a year
They’ve done this before
As such, the loyalty points will be stored in a closed wallet and funds can be added from a semi-closed wallet from Oxigen. In the Future Pay presentation, even the wallet logo is that of Oxigen.
The Future Pay mobile wallet is just another type of loyalty business that the Future Group is running: the other notable attempt is T24 (which, to be honest, we didn’t even know was still around), which is a mobile service offered as a franchise of Tata Teleservices (like Future Pay is a franchise, in a way, of Oxigen), and was launched in 2010. Depending on purchases at Future Retail shops, consumers would get free talk-time as cashback. The T24 website (we don’t know when it was updated last) says “Over 3 million users are already on a shopping spree with T24. And more than 136 Cr worth of free talktime has already been given out to a million shoppers.” Given that the program was launched in 2010, that isn’t much. The wallet appears to be outpacing the mobile approach.
Loyalty and Data
“Your Company today has access to consumer data of almost 30 million customers who are members of our loyalty programs” Future Group said in its annual report. Its loyalty programs include Big Bzaar Profit Club, T24 mobile program, and two more recent programs: easyday Savings Club and Future Pay mobile wallet. Here are some things that the Future Group says in its annual report about how the loyalty program and data work for them:
- Higher billing size and frequency: “Customers who come on these platforms not only have higher average billing size but also higher frequency of visits through the year, translating into far higher annual spends at our stores. Most of the customers on these paid loyalty platforms visit us on an average 18 times in a year.”
- Reduction in dependence on mass media: “These loyalty programs are slowly allowing us to reduce our dependence on mass media advertising and moving on to conversations with customers through these loyalty platforms and social media”
- Data on consumers changes decision making: “More than tactical advantages, widespread usage of data and technology is also changing the way we take decisions. Today, around 6000 users in the organization have access to track around 2000 key performance indicators to aid their decision making. As we add more intelligence layers over our data, data will augment decision makers and allow full automation for almost four out of five decisions taken by professionals engaged in buying, supply chain, promotions and store operations. That will allow all of us to focus only on a few areas that demand innovation and human creativity to win in the marketplace. “
The Annual Report says that Future Group is “now investing in creating a robust and agile data lake, coupled with intelligence layers and platforms that can potentially change the way we engage with customers and conduct our business.”