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Freecharge & Snapdeal Launch ‘FreeCharge Digital Wallet’; The Great Indian Mobile Wallet War Has Now Begun

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Snapdeal Freecharge Digital Wallet

Freecharge and Snapdeal have combined their forces, and launched their own mobile wallet, which is named as ‘FreeCharge Digital Wallet’. By this launch of a new mobile wallet, they have ignited a new war within this niche, which was dominated by Paytm till now.

Snapdeal had acquired Freecharge in April this year, and Softbank is the leading investor in this combined entity. On the other hand, Paytm is backed by Alibaba, which in turn is heavily invested by Softbank.

Hence, the mobile wallet war in India is turning out into an interesting two way fight between Snapdeal-Freecharge vs Paytm; with Softbank as the catalyst in between. Other smaller mobile wallets like Mobikwik, Citrus and Oxigen Wallet would be closely observing the developments.

Snapdeal announced the launch of ‘FreeCharge Digital Wallet’ via blog post, where they said, “The ‘comprehensive and trusted’ digital wallet service will transform mobile and web transactions by facilitating easy and secure payments.”

Considering that Freecharge or Snapdeal doesn’t have any license for the same, they have partnered with Yes Bank and FINO, a firm which had received payments license from RBI last month.

Kunal Shah, CEO and co-founder, FreeCharge said “FreeCharge has hit an important milestone in its journey today. With the launch of the FreeCharge Digital Wallet, we are all set to transform the way people make payments.”

Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder, Snapdeal, also issued a statement, wherein he said, “At Snapdeal we are building an ecosystem that powers billions of digital commerce transactions. With the launch of the FreeCharge Digital Wallet, we will now play an even more intrinsic role in our customers’ lives”

Freecharge Digital Wallet Vs Paytm Wallet

Interestingly, on day 1 of their launch, Freecharge Digital Wallet has already become India’s #2 biggest wallet in terms of users and stored cards. The combined entity of Freecharge + Snapdeal has 87 million registered users, whereas Paytm has around 100 million users. If Freecharge + Snapdeal have 15 million stored cards of customers on their platform, then Paytm has 25 million+ active wallets on their platform.

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With such comprehensive database of those customers, who are willing to use m-commerce, and are comfortable paying through mobile, it is only a matter of time when Freecharge Digital Wallet will tie neck-to-neck with Paytm in terms of numbers.

On the other hand, Paytm Wallet has expanded their range, and now their users can pay for coffee, pizza, school fees and more such expenses using their wallet. Few days back, Paytm founder Vijay Sharma also announced that they will start India’s first payment bank very soon.

During the acquisition of Freecharge by Snapdeal, we had commented that mobile commerce is the future of Digital India, and we can see further consolidation in the market.

By combining the user-base of Snapdeal and Freecharge, the first wave of consolidation has already begun, which is actually being witnessed first in the mobile wallet niche. Flipkart has already acquired FX Mart, which holds prepaid wallet license, whereas Ola Cab’s Ola Money will be empowered to be used on ecommerce portals very soon.

How will Paytm respond to this new wave of competition? Will they offer scintillating new offers to counter Freecharge+Snapdeal or they will acquire smaller mobile wallets to be ahead in the race?

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