It is estimated that India has about a billion mobile connections today, with about six million new connections being added every month. With the advent of smartphones, we now have an increasing rate of internet penetration in the country. For many, the first experience of the internet is through a mobile phone. With the convenience that mobile payments applications allow, the smartphone is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to cash. With payments from everything from mobile recharges to electricity payments being done through apps, it is expected that India’s mobile wallet market will reach to USD 6.6 billion by 2020.

Mobile wallets are slowing replacing bank accounts in more ways than one. More and more payments are now being done wirelessly than using cash, or credit/debit cards to get the payment through. Indians are gradually realizing that mobile phone wallet payments offer much more convenience, integrity, safety, security and accessibility than ever.

With an improving mobile network coverage with 2G/3G internet connectivity at extremely affordable prices, the growth of mobile wallets in particular and ecommerce as a whole is bright. Most of the users of mobile wallets fall in the 18-30 age group. This demographic has been pivotal in the rise of ecommerce and also to ensure increased usage of mobile wallets.
Mobile wallets first offered only mobile recharges. It has slowly metamorphosed to DTH, Utility bill payments and money transfer. Many banks too have joined the bandwagon by coming up with their own mobile wallets. Money transfer, mobile recharge, bill payments and utility applications have grown 110% since the last financial year, especially due to usage by people in Tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. With a simple, easy to understand interface, mobile wallets have been a huge hit with millenials. Also, as we need just to enter our numbers and then the application does the rest, which is extremely convenient for everybody using it.

With a burgeoning economy and rapidly evolving workforce, we can assume that mobile wallets will be a self reliant ubiquitous system in the foreseeable future. With mobile wallets now offering all kinds of payments, in future they will be a viable alternative to physical shopping. The mobile wallet will be the place where marketers merge their online and offline marketing strategies. As more and more brick- and –mortar retailers accept mobile wallet payments, we now have the situation where mobile wallets ensure that both ecommerce firms and retail establishments get a slice of the young populations spending habits.

With an increasingly tough competition for a slice of the mobile wallet market, customers have a wide variety to choose from. Mobile wallets are now being offered by a variety of firms, from standalone companies to banks to telecom majors and so on. The best way mobile wallets will be useful for users will be the cashbacks and discounts offered by the mobile wallets. Mobile wallet providers have to realize that customer loyalty is there as long as you have an attractive marketing campaign with good discount offers.

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