Paytm has just disrupted the Indian eCommerce sector’s growth formula by offering free WiFi Internet access to all. For a period of 15 minutes, this free WiFi access would be provided to all Internet users; and the best part is that such access of Internet is neutral – You can open any website, app and not just Paytm app.
This makes Paytm as the first Indian eCommerce and Wallet company to offer free Internet via WiFi, and has set a precedent which will have far reaching consequences for every user.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced this via Facebook post, when he said, “Launching Paytm WiFi beta. Ab Paytm karne ke liye free Internet. Coming soon! PS: it will be equal, open & free internet for apps not just Paytm”
The Core Objective of Free WiFi
Paytm’s free 15-minute WiFi would be offered at Metro Stations to start with, and this is already launched at Noida’s Sector 18 metro, which is considered one of the busiest metro stations due to proximity to various shopping malls and markets.
Now, Paytm is vigorously pushing their wallet for offline usage; and this free WiFi offer can perfectly compliment their efforts. Paytm wants their users, merchants and traders to use Paytm when the actual cash exchange takes place, and with this vision, Free WiFi at a Metro station makes perfect sense.
For example, commuters who about to pay auto fares can quickly use this service and make payment via Paytm app; and at the same time, auto-drivers can use the free Internet, and accept payment via Paytm wallet.
Vijay said, “We are building avenues for our merchants and consumers who do not have access to internet at all times to stay connected with Paytm. Initially we are looking at metros because they are key locations for our consumers and our merchants, especially the auto-rickshaw walas..”
Net Neutrality Respected
Besides, as per Vijay, this free WiFi can be used to access any Internet and Mobile based service, not just Paytm; and this effectively protects the principles of Net Neutrality and Free Internet. In case Paytm would have forced the user to only use their app, then it would have been Free Basics type enforced and monitored Internet ‘trap’.
We had earlier covered how Vijay Shekhar Sharma is a staunch supporter of Net Neutrality in India
Meanwhile, in a related news, Google has announced that their WiFi service has now been extended to 9 more stations, which are: Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Ernakulam Jn, Kacheguda, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam .
They had earlier started their free WFi service from Mumbai Central Station, where 1,00,000 people are using their service every week.
With Paytm becoming the first ecommerce/wallet firm to launch free WiFi, we may soon see other ecommerce biggies jumping into this ‘growth hack’ strategy.
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