Softbank Korea-backed True Balance, which got a mobile wallet license from the RBI earlier this year, has started rolling out its mobile wallet service, the company said in a statement. True Balance is an app that displays usage data to mobile users in India, similar to Google’s Datally; it also supports carrier recharges.
Starting wallet operations will allow the company to let users pay in advance for mobile recharges, much like Paytm. True Balance users can also send money to each other. In compliance with RBI regulations, money can be transferred back to bank accounts.
Note that the company says that its application has been downloaded 50 million times, but that does not give an indication whether they are users of the wallet.
The Gurgaon-based company’s app was initially designed to just manage mobile data balance. Lush with funds from Softbank Korea, the company added recharge options within the app from all major Indian carriers in January. So far, users had to use credit or debit cards to recharge their phone, or use ‘credits’ worth anything from ₹0.2 and above. Users get credits from activities like referring a friend, watching an ad, installing and playing certain games, or doing a recharge.
Now, the credit system will exist alongside the wallet, through which users can pre-load money, an option that was not available earlier.
Shashi adds: True Balance will have to deal with the RBI’s onerous guidelines and deal with increased net worth requirements and KYC and most likely link the wallets with Aadhaar. Wallet issuers will also have to submit the list of merchants acquired by it to the escrow bank and update the same from time to time.
However, the guidelines did dangle interoperability for wallet companies who complied with the increased KYC norms. In the first phase, wallet issuers (both bank and non-bank entities) shall make all KYC compliant wallets interoperable amongst themselves through the UPI within 6 months. This means that a user can transfer money from a Paytm account to a MobiKwik account if they are KYC compliant. Subsequently, it will allow interoperability with bank accounts and cards as well.