“Crystal clear policies and a common regulatory body for all m-wallets (closed, semi-closed and others) are required to bring clarity in procedures and policies between m-wallet companies and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” suggested the study titled ‘Indian m-wallet market: Forecast 2022,’ conducted by ASSOCHAM jointly with research firm RNCOS.
“A strong authentication mechanism must be put in place to bind the identity of the user to the authorization of the transaction thereby being extremely mindful of authentication and risk assessment,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the study.
“As the mobile payment space evolves, the stakeholders must create secure transactions that foster consumer trust, besides, m-wallet companies must provide a much more secure payment authentication process out to the masses,” said Mr Rawat.
The Indian m-wallet market in FY 2016 was around Rs 1.54 billion or Rs 154 crore, and it is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 141% during the period between 2015-16 to 2021-22 and reach till Rs 300 billion or Rs 30,000 crore by the end of FY 2022 driven by growing usage of smartphones, robust mobile internet penetration, growth of e-commerce sector together with increasing disposable incomes, the study noted.
It is also anticipated that the market value of m-wallet transactions in India will grow at a CAGR of 154 per cent during the period FY 2016 to FY 2022, and reach Rs 55 trillion or Rs 55 lakh crore from INR 206 billion or Rs 20,600 crore, more so as m-wallet transaction is among the fastest growing paperless modes of payment or banking, and it is expected that the majority of transactions will go paperless in the next 10 years.
Besides, in FY 2016, the total m-wallet transaction was 0.6 billion; and it is expected to reach 120 billion by FY 2022, growing at a CAGR of 142 per cent.
M-wallet market can be segmented into three broad services - money transfers from wallet to wallet, bank to wallet and vice versa which accounts for 38 per cent share followed by recharge and bill payments for mobile, DTH, landline, electricity and other such services (31 per cent share) and the remaining share of 31 per cent is captured by online shopping, hotel/travel/movie ticket reservations, online food order, payment of insurance premium, recharging metro rail card and others.
While mobile wallet service contributed 21 per cent share in mobile payment volume transactions in FY16, its share in total mobile payment volume transactions is expected to increase to 79% by FY22.
However, it said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) licensing regime is discouraging mobile wallet growth in the country. “The present system allows only e-transfer of money and approves semi-closed prepaid instrument issuance while it does not allow ‘cash out’ from the semi-closed wallet.”
Besides, for all the entities (including banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), telecos and others) to operate any kind of m-wallet, there are copious of strict RBI policies which encumbrance the growth of m-wallet sector in India.
“The RBI should relax its current policies and allow cash withdrawals from the semi-closed wallets,” suggested the study.
The consumer’s mindset is the biggest factor that hinders the growth of Indian m-wallet market, as they are more sceptical about the safety and security issues as in the case of internet banking as users worry that their devices could be hacked or attacked by some kind of viruses, noted the ASSOCHAM-RNCOS study.
Also, often people complain that their money has been debited but the transaction got declined while transacting via mobile, and to avoid such problems users keep away from using mobile wallet related services, it added.
Privacy is another issue related to the growth of m-wallet industry as for all kinds of monetary transactions and other such services one needs to disclose his/her identity, which might create a huge problem for the customers if the hackers hack the security or wireless transmission and obtain all the information related to the social or financial matters, highlighted the study.
“There is an urgent need for m-wallet based companies to spread awareness about their services across the country regarding the major issue of lack of awareness about their usage and benefits,” it said.
The ASSOCHAM-RNCOS study has suggested that m-wallet companies should expand their reach by offering services through agents and distributors in order to capture large consumer base.
“They should establish more and more distributors or agents outlets/office in the areas where there is poor or no internet connectivity,” it said.
It is also recommended that companies in this domain should increase both - the limit of number of transaction and transaction amount even in case of basic account.
Introducing lucrative schemes and offers can also go a long way in strengthening the customer base for m-wallet companies like a small amount of interest on the amount kept in the wallet for a month/quarter/year would attract customers to load money in their wallet to get interest rate benefits.
Besides, there is a need for technological advancement by the m-wallet companies so that their m-wallets are compatible with all operating systems and they do not have pay extra money every time to launch their application on a new platform.
“The m-wallet companies must develop a common platform for their application to save money and time as this would ultimately result in reduction in cost and expansion in user base and hence revenue,” further noted the Assocham-RNCOS study.