How FreeCharge & Paytm are disrupting the 'mobile wallet' landscape

Recently, Freecharge has come up with a MasterCard powered virtual card named 'FreeCharge Go.' This is basically a one-stop wallet for any online transaction a customer wants to make from any part of the country.

Buy THIS using ABC mobile wallet and get and 50 rs cash back on your next purchase,” a mail or a text message that you might be receiving on a daily basis.

The bottom line of such mails is not just to promote a particular product but also to pepper with advertisement for mobile wallets. Though today we have a never ending list of websites and mobile applications that offers good discounts on online shopping but if we go back in time when it all started it was a different ballgame all together.

What started as a medium to recharge mobile phones now stands at the top of the value chain providing a complete host of other services such as shopping, paying for food, taxis, subscriptions and even for buying homes. The two digital firms that transformed the mobile wallet industry were FreeCharge and Paytm. Both firms, founded in 2010, were the most inspiring technology startups and gave a new face not just to the mobile payment industry but to eCommerce as well.

Since inception, both of these companies were into a war zone as the industry was nascent and opportunities were aplenty. Regular innovations, technology enhancements and heavy discounting to acquire more and more customers scaled the industry to a whole new level. Today this particular segment has surpassed its biggest sibling eCommerce on innovation and rapid development fronts.

There were many times when the Snapdeal-owned firm FreeCharge felt short in terms of customer acquisition as its website and mobile app kept on crashing. Paytm on the other hand, stood straight and kept on moving head-on-head with the market demands.

But recently, FreeCharge has stepped out the blue and come up with a MasterCard powered virtual card named ‘FreeCharge Go.’ This all new card is basically a one-stop wallet for any online transaction a customer wants to make from any part of the country. With the launch of the card, now FreeCharge users can also pay Uber bills- which was till now a monopoly of Paytm.

The card will act like a regular debit or credit card we use, except its virtual, and has services like pooling rewards points, and using technology that can generate personal identification numbers even with flaky internet connectivity.Commenting on the same, Kunal Shah, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, FreeCharge, said, “We want to be as invisible during transaction as possible. We are here to remove all friction from commerce.”

The company has partnered with MasterCard and YES Bank for the initiative. “We are partnering with MasterCard and YES Bank to launch the FreeCharge Go card. Transacting online will not only be swifter and safer with ‘FreeCharge Go’ but universal too,” said Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge.

The move can surely be considered as the future evolution of the mobile wallet mechanism and based on such innovations and technological enhancements it will be apt to say that mobile wallets will soon become a self-sufficient ubiquitous ecosystem tagging eCommerce along.

Now, it will be interesting to see how Paytm responds to such revert by FreeCharge as if this seamless transaction kicks off successfully, it could put FreeCharge in a very strong place.

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