The currency ban has benefited telecom operators in numerous ways, primarily via creating an increase in their mobile wallet transactions. Among the operators, three major telecom players – Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular – are estimated to witness a 40-50% surge in mobile wallet transactions, reports Economic Times (ET).
“The withdrawal of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes will create a sizeable increase in the revenue of the telecom operators,” experts said to ET.
Commenting on the massive opportunity created, Shashi Arora, MD & CEO – Airtel Payments Bank said, “The Government’s recent initiative to curb illicit cash transactions, by demonetizing hi-denomination currency notes, will provide a major boost to the growth of digital payments ecosystem in the country, and will accelerate India’s journey towards becoming a truly digitally integrated and cashless economy.”
According to Arora, Airtel Payments Bank, with its banking and mobile wallet services portfolio, is well positioned to leverage this growth opportunity. “We also plan to roll out our banking services shortly by leveraging Airtel’s vast customer base and pan-India distribution network,” he said.
Arora agreed to the fact that Airtel Money, the company’s mobile wallet, has seen a surge in transaction value (usage) and in the cash-loading post the Government’s recent currency-ban announcement. New users have started using Airtel Money services and the number of Airtel Money app downloads is also increasing.
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The transaction value seen on Airtel Money is expected to rise further in the future. As a promotional offer, Airtel has also introduced 5% cash back on all cash transactions performed via Airtel Money.
The majority of the people are utilizing Airtel Money for services such as mobile recharges, utility bill payments and pay merchants. Airtel Money has alliances with key partners including BookMyShow, ShopClues, Jabong, eBay, Goibibo, OLX, Pharmacy, CafeCoffeeDay, Sangeetha Mobiles, FernsNPetal and more.
The responses of other telecom operators on the surge of their m-wallet transactions are awaited at the time of writing this news.
The wallet services contribute 2% to a telecom operators’ revenue. An Assocham-RNCOS study predicted the value of mobile payment transactions in India to exceed Rs. 2,000 trillion in FY22 from Rs. 8 trillion in FY16.