Because of the pandemic and several lockdowns, the need for online connectivity grew multiple folds. During the time, people depended a lot on various online payment platforms to make transactions for almost everything they bought or exchanged. Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel benefitted a lot because of these online payment platforms. This is because users of the telco had no other option but to recharge from their homes using online wallets. Some of the major online payment platforms/wallets included Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm. Now, as per a report shared by ET Telecom, telcos received almost 50% of their revenues through online recharges that users made in the past year — more details on the story ahead.
Jio and Airtel Received 50% of Their Revenue Through Online Recharges
Reliance Jio received 50% of its total revenue for the October-December quarter of 2020 through online recharges. Compared with the earlier quarter of January-March, the telco received only 35% of its revenues through online recharges. It is worth noting that during the quarter ending June 2020, the telco had received 60% of its recharge revenues from online payments, which is still an all-time high for Jio. The revenues being discussed here are only ‘recharge revenues’ and not the gross revenue company made through other segments of its business.
At the same time, the stat was somewhat similar for Bharti Airtel as well. Out of the total recharge revenues of Airtel, the company received half of it through online payments. This means that online payment platforms/wallets have helped the telcos a lot.
Fintech companies such as PhonePe and Google Pay, among other online payment platforms said that they saw a surge of 55%-75% in online transactions for mobile recharges. The pandemic and lockdowns pushed users to make more of online payments.
Many first time users jumped to online payment platforms and made their first transactions within the first quarter of the pandemic. Right from recharging their SIM cards to clearing electricity bill dues, users did it all with the help of online wallets.
In an interesting note, online recharges have helped the telcos increase their average revenue per user (ARPU). A spokesperson from PhonePe said that the average transaction value related to mobile recharges went up by 20% year-on-year (YoY).
This is just the start though, and the benefits of online recharge aren’t just limited to Jio and Airtel, but Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) have also benefited from the same.