Idea Money, Idea Cellular’s prepaid wallet service, increased its registered user base to 12.30 million at the end of the September quarter (Q2FY18), growing 4.62% from 11.76 million in the preceding quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the number of registered wallet users increased 145.49% from 5.01 million.The total number of transactions for the quarter stood at 2.48 million growing flat from 2.43 million in the preceding quarter. However, on a year-on-year basis, the transaction volume decreased 25.29% from 3.32 million. The value of the transactions also declined in the quarter to Rs 116 crore. In the preceding quarter, it stood at Rs 219.4 crore a fall of 24.3%. The average transaction value Rs 669, a QoQ decline 25.7% from Rs 901.

Not that the company has not given out details about its domestic remittance service this quarter. In Q4, Idea Money said that it processed remittances worth Rs 1186 crore in FY17 through its retail-assisted model. In addition to remittances, the retail assisted model will also allow users to pay bills and book tickets for other services. Earlier this month, Idea Money partnered with bus booking service redBus and has similar partnerships with BookMyshow, KFC, Dominos, Yepme, MakeMyTrip and IRCTC. Idea Money is currently available in 17 circles where the telecom operator is present.

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.

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 were slated to be launched in Q2FY18 after necessary regulatory approvals. Idea Money will be folded into the payments bank operations, the company said in the quarterly report.

“The Payments Bank intends to promote a wide range of banking products & services including current and savings bank account, domestic remittances, merchant payments etc. while partnering with ABG financial services, select universal banks & financial institutions for offering range of full banking products including Demand Deposits, other related investment and Insurance products to its payments bank customer,” it added.

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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.