Currency ban contributes to the growth of wallet services of Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular: Report

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.

Also Read – Demonetization: Bharti Airtel, Vodafone provide talktime and data loan to prepaid users, extend bill due date for postpaid base

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.

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15 Comments on "Currency ban contributes to the growth of wallet services of Airtel, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular: Report"


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November 18, 2016 11:28 am 11:28 AM

This is just marketing talk. People who know enough to use wallets already have cards – which are better anyday.
People who don’t know… well, they can’t!

(Eg: Freecharge deposits Rs. 10 into my wallet every month… and keeps sending reminder emails to use it. It’s not charity… just to show their investors that this many people are using our wallet every month etc and increase their valuation as a result.)

Faraz, Bihar
November 18, 2016 4:50 pm 4:50 PM

Ask them not to add 10? in your wallet. Huh

November 18, 2016 3:54 pm 3:54 PM

It is that if u won’t use FreeCharge ac for months or 15-20 days . then only they useto ddeposit … I know this … how gonna investers going to see whom they amt deposit in users ac? They want us to use their services. And they come to know users pattern and they earn from such information through our app uses.

November 18, 2016 9:39 am 9:39 AM

No use of these vallets. Just use card or online banking.