Neil Camilo Bhattacharya
01st Dec 2015
Most people who buy online in India use either cash on delivery, or credit cards. But some are
making the move to mobile payment apps.
Sometimes, it’s forced by other factors. For instance, when Uber stopped accepting credit cards in India because of the RBI mandate for two-factor authentication, many started using Paytm for Uber.
But some are hooked on the convenience. They’re quick, friendly, give instant updates on transactions, and have features that are usually not available with card payment.
Others are hooked on them for their safety and built-in limit. Even after Uber reintroduced cards for Indian users, many continue with Paytm, because you can keep tabs on your spend more easily, recharging, say, Rs 2,000 weekly.
Mobile wallets offer a better way to manage payment tools, from debit and credit cards to discount vouchers and loyalty vouchers. You can safely store your credit card information in the wallet app to be used later in the event that you need to make an instant transaction, and don’t have access to your card at that moment. It is also more secure than carrying a wallet full of cards all the time.
A mobile wallet app also gives you better control: you get a single place to track your purchases, experts say.
Here are five popular mobile payment apps:
PayUmoney (Over 500,000 downloads)
Partnered with over 20 national banks and serving over 4,000 merchants including leading e-commerce companies like Goibibo, Jabong, Snapdeal, Bookmyshow, Ferns n Petals etc., PayU offers users many options. As with other apps (and some e-com sites) you can store your card details if you choose to, making future payments easy. You will also get 1% extra discount or reward point every time you pay using PayUmoney. And if in any case, you cancel an order, your money will be immediately refunded to your wallet with a real time alert. This is unlike using a credit card, where, if you claim the product you paid for was faulty, the bank will conduct a formal enquiry into the transaction before generating a report stating the legitimacy of your claim, before refunding your money over a cycle of weeks or months.
2. Paytm- (Over 10 million downloads)
India’s largest mobile commerce platform, Paytm is a full marketplace on a mobile app. The app is neatly designed and convenient. You have the option of recharging and shopping from wherever, whenever and are equipped with a secure online wallet called Paytm Cash. Using this feature, you may store money as you please to use later for a quick payment. Booking bus tickets, buying supplies, paying school/college fees, gas/electric bills, etc. are some of the many features Paytm offers you. Apart from this, you can also choose to send money to friends or family.
According to KPCB partner Mary Meeker's 2015 Internet Trends report, Paytm is a clear leader in the country with around 80 million wallet users, growing 17x in the past year.
3. Oxigen- (Over 1mn downloads)
Powered by Oxigen Services, India's “first and largest” (their claim) payment solutions provider, Oxigen Wallet says it’s India's first RBI approved non-bank wallet to be integrated with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) allowing instant money transfer from the Wallet to over 60 banks and vice versa using the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). It goes without saying that this calls for good security measures, and Oxigen takes this seriously. The mobile wallet uses several layers of security and anti-hacking code. You can effortlessly recharge mobiles and DTH, book movie tickets, pay bills, shop online, or order pizza. You can even send money to friends on social media by simply logging into the app using your Facebook or Google+ credentials. All you need to do is enter the amount and the recipient can access the money through a link.
4. Vodafone m-pesa- (100k+ downloads)
To start using Vodafone m-pesa, you have to register your account at your nearest Vodafone store. Once that is done, simply load a certain amount of money in the account and enjoy the convenience of money transfer and bill payments, anytime and anywhere. You can recharge any prepaid number be it a Vodafone number or any other operator, recharge a DTH connection, pay utility bills, shop online, and make instant money transfers to any other bank account or m-pesa wallet. A key feature is that you have the option to withdraw money, via . an m-pesa agent.
5. ngpay (Over 1mn downloads)
ngpay, an acronym for Next Generation Pay, is an m-commerce in India. You can access the app on feature-phones too. So, anyone, even without a smartphone, can do online bill payments, mobile recharges, book flight/bus/train/movie tickets and shop online for favourite brands. You also earn points for transactions and referrals, and avail special offers and discounts.
So that’s five options. For many users, the credit card--especially virtual card alternatives--might still rule, especially if you stick to one e-commerce platform (say Amazon) and save your card there. But if you’re looking for a lot of interesting additional features and mainly use your mobile phone for shopping (and all else), then these are great options.
Why Use Mobile Payment Apps?
How are they better than credit cards or COD? And which are the good ones?
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