4 Updates From the Indian Payments Space

The Indian FinTech industry is going through a chain of transformation. The government has recently taken many initiatives towards digitization.

In this article, we cover the latest updates from the Indian FinTech sector which includes McDonald's partnering with FreeCharge, IRCTC blocking wallets, TranServ launching Udio, the first social mobile wallet in India and Telr launching in India to revolutionize the payment gateway industry.

McDonald's Partners With FreeCharge Enabling Users to Pay With Mobile:

Digital payments platform FreeCharge recently announced its exclusive partnership with Westlife Development Ltd., owner of the master franchisee of fast-food chain McDonald's west and south India operations. This will allow McDonald's customers to use the FreeCharge wallet enabling them to make swifter, safer payments offline within 30 seconds, without generating SMS-based OTPs. The service has been rolled out starting January 14, 2016, across 216 McDonald's restaurants spread across 26 cities in the country.

Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge, said to NDTV that McDonald's implementation was the most stringent test a payment system can undergo. "We worked closely with McDonald's to deliver a 'built-to-order' product as per their specifications. The transactions are done within 10 seconds in a secure manner. Most importantly, McDonald's did not have to make any extra investment to integrate our product," he said in an emailed statement.

IRCTC Blocking Wallets:

The railway ministry announced new rules for the booking of online tickets through the IRCTC website, which will be effective from February 15. Booking is not allowed through e-wallets and cash cards from 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon. Individuals can book train tickets online only six times a month instead of the current 10 on Indian Railways’ e-ticketing website.

This has been done keeping in view the analysis of usage of (the) quota of 10 tickets which indicated that 90% of users are booking up to six tickets in a given month and only 10% are making more than six tickets. It is suspected that the 10% users might be involved in touting activities. Therefore, to deter such touts and to facilitate genuine users, it has been decided that a maximum of six tickets can be booked by an individual user in a month, said a press statement issued by the ministry.

TranServ Launches Udio, the First Social Mobile Wallet in India:

Digital payments company TranServ has launched India's first social mobile wallet, Udio.

Udio Wallet integrates a social, community-driven aspect with anytime, anywhere accessibility to digital P2P (peer-to-peer) transactions via its secure and seamless payment structure, creating a ubiquitous ecosystem for both consumers and brands.

Udio, which enables users to extend and replicate social behaviours like squaring of dues, sharing dinner bills or a cab ride.

Anish Williams, Co-founder & CEO, TranServ, said to the Economic Times, "With the Udio launch, the company is taking the next step in the field of digitally led social payments in India by seamlessly integrating the social aspect with our secure and swift digital solutions."

"We strongly believe in this concept and its viability in the Indian context, which is why we have integrated peer-to-peer transactions into our own offerings," said Williams.

Peer-to-peer digital payments solutions, he said, have already been proven to be successful in other markets like the US. "We are confident that India's growing smartphone user base will welcome this new development with open arms and adopt Udio as their default payments partner for all online and offline transactions," said Williams.

Telr Launches in India to Revolutionize the Payment Gateway Industry

The Multicurrency and multilingual payment gateway for SMEs, Telr, launched its services in India. The launch aims to assist the country’s merchants in building robust online businesses through its rich, secure payments gateway as well as value-added services.

In emerging economies such as India, where new-age startups and online businesses are establishing themselves as the major growth drivers, there is an urgent need for the payments industry to evolve beyond being just a payments facilitator, said Telr Co-founder and CEO, Sirish Kumar.

New online businesses often face a lot of challenges such as high fees and endless paperwork during their early stages; Telr has been launched to introduce innovation when it comes to online transactions.

We are here to eliminate the fragmentation that exists between key stakeholders in the e-commerce markets such as merchants, logistics services, web store providers and banks in order to facilitate a seamless, smooth business growth, added Kumar.

We are basically facilitating the merchants to easily navigate onboarding challenges and be up and running in the least amount of time possible with minimal financial commitment. We want to empower people who wish to sell online by breaking down barriers and allowing higher levels of access to tools and expertise at realistic price points that suit merchants of any size, added Sirish.