MobiKwik, launched in 2009, is one of the early entrants into the Indian e-wallet space. The service has been around for around 4 years now and facilitates over 3 million transactions every month.
The service currently has an average of 100,000 active users every day and is seeing a 20% month on month growth. The company is expecting to achieve its target of 15 million customers and 1000 merchants by the end of 2014.
Bipin Preet Singh, CEO & Founder, MobiKwik spoke to NextBigWhat on the growth of his e-wallet service and the challenges faced by mobile payment services in the current Indian ecosystem. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
How has the growth in mobile, as a platform, for MobiKwik been?
With 4.5 million users, and 65% of the transactions happening on mobile devices, it is the way ahead.
There is a steady growth on the mobile platform and higher retention can also be seen in mobile users. While the app is available for all three platforms, traction for the app is highest on the Android platform followed by the Windows and the iOS versions. We are also piloting new services on the mobile platform.
Our Android app has crossed 1 million downloads and at 700 KB in size, is one of the lightest in its category. Across Android, iOS and Windows platforms, the MobiKwik wallet app has over 2 million downloads.
What are some of the challenges faced by merchants?
With most merchants, the payment on the mobile app is a big concern and with multiple platform available the integration becomes trickier. We provide merchants with SDKs for 3 main platforms and they can plug-in the MobiKwik wallet to their own mobile app.
Enabling recurring transactions and converting browsing and cash-on-delivery users to paying customers is an important challenge for our e-wallet service.
On the Mobile front we have around 500 merchants including YepMe and redBus signed up with us. We will also soon be adding a function to allow users to return the funds in their wallets back to their source soon.
What are the challenges in converting Indian customers, who traditionally transact in cash, to users?
For Indian customers any e-wallet service is new and the best way to make them feel secure in transacting using them is by clubbing payments like utility bills and recharge with the e-wallet service. This way they will get the more comfortable with the look and feel of transacting through an e-wallet and make it easier for them to transact with 3rd party merchants in the future.
What role is RBI playing in supporting the ecosystem?
RBI has been very supportive to the mobile payment space and we take constant feedback from them in regard to KYC compliance and fraud management.
Fraud is a big concern with people creating multiple and fake wallets and we also have to keep a check on the source of funds.
How big a challenge is customer acquisition?
One of the biggest challenge for the service is customer acquisition. Services currently in the market rely own their own methods for customer acquisition.
Establish an offline network and customer acquisition when done in parallel can become a challenge for most services. Getting a merchant online is simpler, as they are usually open to new payment options and even one new revenue source is good. Whereas user on-boarding and retention is a challenge as getting them comfortable with the service takes time.
In the past services like Beam built a large offline network but were unable to get active users and eventually failed.