Payments company Mobikwik has launched UPI-based payments on its platform, becoming the latest mobile wallet to add the interoperable payment service. Mobikwik users will now be able to make and receive payments via their @ikwik Virtual Payments Address (VPA). Mobikwik’s addition of UPI doesn’t come as a surprise because mobile wallets, like the one run by Mobikwik, have seen a decline in usage over the past month as RBI’s stricter KYC norms have come into effect.

At first glance, Mobikwik’s UPI application seems simple to use and interoperability doesn’t seem to be an issue. Users can send and receive payments from other UPI IDs. Both online and offline merchant payment options are present and so is support for BharatQR, as mandated recently by the National Payments Corporation of India. The app supposedly offers UPI access to the 3 million merchants on its app.

UPI space getting crowded

As mobile wallets are seeing a slump in usage, the addition of UPI seems like a prudent move for Mobikwik. But the UPI space is getting both crowded and competitive. On top of that, the interoperable nature of UPI means that customers move between apps, or use multiple apps as and when they see fit.

Google Tez, Paytm, the Flipkart owned PhonePe, Whatsapp’s payment service and the government-backed BHIM app are all going to be key competitors for Mobikwik. Some like Paytm and Google Tez have tried to drive their numbers by offering cashback rewards for signing up, making bill payments or transferring money.

UPI in numbers

There were 190.1 million UPI transactions made in the month of April, with Rs 27,021.9 crore being transacted in total. BHIM processed 6.6% of all UPI transactions. PhonePe told Medianama that it had processed 42.4 million transactions in April which accounts for accounted for 22% of all UPI transactions, whereas Paytm responsible for 33% of all UPI transactions an ET report suggested. The ET report also mentioned that WhatsApp’s UPI based payments accounted for a measly 170,000 transactions or 0.0008% of the total. We can speculate that a major portion of the remaining 38% was driven by Google Tez.