State run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), yesterday announced its mobile wallet, in collaboration with digital payments service Mobikwik. With this wallet, BSNL is looking to enable one-tap bill payment for its 100 million subscribers across the nation.
BSNL also confirmed that customers could use this wallet in more than 1.5 million merchants in the entire India. The digital wallet, developed by MobiKwik for BSNL, is in line with the telecom corporation’s intent to take the reach of digital payments to semi-urban and rural India, a BSNL statement said.
The application offers all the basic digital payments services such as online recharges, make bill payments, and book bus & train tickets. Launching the digital wallet, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said, “With this co-branded wallet, the ease of payment will be extended to all the customers while equally strengthening financial inclusion in the rural hinterlands, which often get neglected”.
BSNL chairman Anupam Srivastava said the partnership would ensure that all its 100 million customers are able to “seamlessly and conveniently transact and make mobile and other financial payments through the co-branded MobiKwik wallet”. Srivastava said the wallet will work on both smartphone and feature phones.
The alliance with BSNL will “empower masses in India with access to dependable internet connectivity and digital payments”, Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO of MobiKwik said. The BSNL wallet will enable people to pay bills, recharge their phone connections and pay for their daily purchases, he added.
Furthermore, the government-owned PSU stated that with over 1.5 million merchants already on board, this is India's largest wallet by any telecom company.
This is an excellent move from BSNL as its rival operators such as Bharti Airtel has the My Airtel app, Vodafone has mPesa service, Reliance Jio has JioMoney. This move also enables BSNL to go against digital wallet apps such as Paytm and PhonePe.