Freecharge Aiming to be Digital Payment Pioneers in India


If you can tie a quick payment concept to the cell phone & know it’s secure and protected, it absolutely becomes a viable platform for digital payments. But the most important thing is to build a secure system that is impenetrable – Tim Bajarin

Security & safety are one of the foremost segments to look after while devising a digital payment solution. Freecharge seems to be on its way to be the pioneers of digital payments in India. The company is looking to bank on partnerships with vendors and banks to become an operating system for digital payments in India. The company has also tied up with IPL for the sponsorship for this edition. The sponsorship deal would garner a lot of attention for Freecharge as it is one of the most lucrative sporting events in the country. With more than eight million active users on the platform, Freecharge is undoubtedly on its way to be amongst the front-runners in the digital payments ecosystem. The company will be reportedly spending around INR 100 Crore for their IPL commitments. Snapdeal had acquired Freecharge in April for $400 million, one of the largest deals in the consumer internet space in India. The deal, a combination of stock and cash, helped Snapdeal get a platform for digital wallets and compete effectively with players such as Paytm, which is expanding into e-commerce. The Freecharge acquisition is also critical at a time when India is witnessing a surge in consumers using digital wallets to pay for goods and services such as taxi. A combination of policy decisions, led by the Reserve Bank of India allowing payments banks, increased use of smartphones that allow customers to transact online on the go and technologies that enable faster and secure transactions online is helping the ecosystem grow.

Mobile telephony has come a long way. New innovations and solutions are hitting the market with each passing day. And, recharging being one of the most essential parts of mobile telephony, Freecharge seems to be geared up for the future. The future of recharging business in India will thrive on these innovations and the process of providing the customers with incentives every time. Mr. Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, Freecharge spoke at lengths about the company aspiring to be an operating system for the digital payments system in India. He said, “The biggest issue is acceptance (of digital payments by traders). The experience of acceptance is the thing we need to crack. India is a hyper-competitive market. You just can’t go to a merchant and say ‘use digital payments’ to save costs. He wants his revenue to grow. Just like an android platform or Apple iOS, we want Freecharge to be operating system for payments,” says Rajan. “Our philosophy is to grow with partners. If the system grows, we will grow.” Mr. Rajan concluded, “Why should vendors require a device of $160 to accept payments? Payments should happen electronically. There is no need for a device other than mobiles to accept payment. Our boundary condition, there is no investment for the retailer.”




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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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