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Idea Money wallet base increases, transactions decline, as it prepares to merge into Aditya Birla Payments Bank

Idea Money, Idea Cellular’s prepaid wallet service, increased its registered user base to 12 million at the end of December 2017, growing 5.9% from 12.3 million in the preceding quarter. On a year-on-year basis, the number of registered wallet users increased 86% from 7 million. The increase in registered users isn’t leading to more transactions, though. The total number of transactions for the quarter stood at 2.26 million, down 9.03% from 2.48 million in the preceding quarter, and 45.47% down from 4.14 million last year. The value of the transactions also declined 15.6% QoQ to Rs 140.1 crore, almost the same as 140 crore in the same quarter last year.

Here are some calculations:

  • Average Transaction Value: Rs 621 per transaction, down 7.17% from Rs 669 per transaction last quarter, and 83.7% up from Rs 338 per transaction in Q3-FY17
  • Average transactions per wallet: 0.17, down 14.1% from 0.2 per wallet last quarter, and down 70.7% from 0.59 per wallet last year.
  • Average amount transacted per wallet: Rs 107.52 per wallet, down 20.3% from Rs 143.91 last quarter, and down 46.2% from Rs 199.82 per wallet last year.

Note that the company has not given out details about its domestic remittance service this quarter. In Q4 last year, 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.

Idea Mobile Banking Services, which owns the wallet, as asked for it to be amalgamated with the payments bank business, Aditya Birla Payments Bank Limited, which will be launched in Q4FY18 (the current quarter).

According to the quarterly report:

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“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.”

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.

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, and hasn’t been updated since. The number of m-Pesa agents stood at 120,000. Vodafone, like Idea, also has a payments bank licence.

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