Proximity Mobile Payments India News: Uber and Walmart Stories

Uber will start accepting credit cards again in India:

So what was the issue? The issue is explained with this picture below:

When Uber started in India, they brought their world-renowned payment experience. The frictionless and invisible payment method wherein you link your credit card and it automatically gets debited when you finish your journey and get out of the car. But in India, according to RBI, you require two-stage authentication to do a transaction. Now, the Uber app and its payment experience was not built to accommodate that. Therefore, they had to bring a stored-value wallet into the picture to enable frictionless payments. What you see above in the picture is the current scenario.

But beginning today, at least on Android phones, you can link your domestic credit card as well in the Uber app. It now accommodates two-stage authentication. Paytm will still be accepted in the app.

"The new solution is in keeping with the RBI's (India's Federal Reserve) two-factor guidelines and requires a one-time password to be keyed in to make the payment," Uber spokesman Karun Arya said in a news article.

Uber India has partnered with Zaakpay which is a digital payment gateway firm based out of Gurgaon. What’s interesting to note is that Zaakpay’S co-founders include Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet Singh. It’s the same group of people who started in 2009, an online prepaid account. Following RBI regulations, Uber users (across 18 cities in the country) would have to enter a CVV (card verification value) and a one-time password received on their mobile phone to pay for the cab ride.

It is believed that Uber’s decision to restart credit card acceptance comes after the users faced problems in loading the Paytm wallet to avail the Uber’s services, thus creating issues for the company in offering a seamless payment experience.

Uber is doing a pilot with cash acceptance in Hyderabad:

Uber is also doing a pilot with cash acceptance in Hyderabad to increase their customer base. Uber has chosen Hyderabad to proceed with this pilot project. The prime motive behind this step is to gain better understanding of customer behavior, preferences and usage trends. With the help of this data, the company wants to create robust payment methods for India, its largest and fastest-growing market outside the United States. In no other country does it accept cash payments.

Its main competitors in India—including Ola, Meru and TaxiForSure—have all accepted the cash-on-delivery model since their inception. To match up with them, Uber came up with this new strategy of accepting cash.

"Tradition dictates that cash plays a big role for Indian consumers. As a data-driven technology company that has seen strong growth in India, we feel this is the right time to explore the extent of this predisposition when it comes to our service," said Siddharth Shanker, Uber's Hyderabad General Manager, in a news article.

Walmart ties up with Vodafone for m-pesa payments in the stores:

Vodafone India has entered into a strategic pact with Walmart India which is a wholly owned unit of Walmart Stores, Inc. The partnership would enable business members of Walmart-owned Best Price wholesale stores to make payments using the British telco's mobile wallet service m-pesa. Initially, the facility will be available at Walmart stores in Lucknow, Amravati, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Guntur.

As per the arrangement, when a Best Price store member based in any of these cities places an order with Walmart India, a Vodafone m-pesa agent will reach out to him and enable cash-in into his m-pesa account. The member can then pay with his cellphone for goods ordered from Walmart's Best Price Cash & Carry store. Walmart India will quickly dispatch the goods to the member after he receives a confirmation message.

Vodafone India's business head at m-pesa, Suresh Sethi, said in a news article that the company is "confident this association would go a long way in simplifying the payments process for Walmart India from the members, especially resellers based in secondary markets."

Rajneesh Kumar, VP and Head (Corporate Affairs) at Walmart India, said in a news article the partnership "would benefit our members, especially kiranas/resellers, due to the convenience of payment along with efficient delivery of quality products at their doorstep."

Vodafone m-pesa is the largest banking correspondent in India with 90,000 agents and more than 3 million customers. The company is playing a crucial role in widening the ambit of m-commerce and addition of various financial services.