Idea Money, Idea Cellular’s prepaid wallet service, reported a drastic decline in its wallet base to 4.53 million at the end of March 2018, declining 58.85% year on year (down 6.48 million), and 65.23% quarter on quarter (down 8.5 million). There seems to have been some significant culling of the wallet base: probably inactive users being weeded out.

The decline in users led to a significant decline in transactions: the total number of transactions for the quarter stood at 1.49 million, down 78.42% (5.40 million) from 6.89 million in the previous year, and down 34.12% (0.77 million) from the preceding quarter. The value of the transactions also declined drastically: down 96.95% year on year, and 93.34% QoQ.

Here are some calculations:

  • Average Transaction Value: Rs 627 per transaction, up 0.97% QoQ and 47.88% YoY.
  • Average transactions per wallet: 0.32, up 89.47% QoQ, and down 47.56% YoY.
  • Average amount transacted per wallet: Rs 20.59 per wallet, down 80.85% from Rs 107.52 last quarter, and down 92.34% from Rs 268.88 per wallet last year.

Idea Money was primarily meant to be used for domestic remittance, especially targeting migrant labour: yet again, the company hasn’t disclosed any details of its domestic remittance service. In Q4-FY17, Idea Money said that it processed remittances worth Rs 1186 crore in FY17 through its retail-assisted model.

Idea Mobile Banking Services, which owns the wallet, was amalgamated into Aditya Birla Payments Bank Limited, which commenced operations on February 22, 2018.

According to 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.”

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.