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MobiKwik closes in on Paytm, announces tie up with 30 lakh street vendors in the country

Tarush Bhalla
16th Dec 2016
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On Thursday, digital payments company MobiKwik announced their partnership with NASVI, an organisation representing over 30 lakh street vendors from 25 states across India. This partnership is in line to empower more merchants to accept digital payments through the MobiKwik platform.

Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet (Co-founders of MobikWik
Upasana Taku and Bipin Preet (Co-founders of MobikWik

According to Arbind Singh, Founder of NASVI, the livelihood of small vendors has been affected to a great extent following the demonetisation. He adds,

"Due to demonetisation, street vendors all across India have lost 70 percent of their business, affecting them badly. Thus, NASVI has partnered with MobiKwik to provide the solution and make them aware of the cashless economy. The partnership will be a great help to them at this time of cash crunch, as it will allow them to receive payments and keep their businesses going."

Speaking on the partnership, Upasana Taku, Co-founder of MobiKwik, said,

"This association is imperative for us to support street vendors by educating them about various e-payment options available to receive payments from customers. We will train 10 lakh street vendors in three months to enable them to transact digitally. MobiKwik payments will soon be accepted by 30 lakh street vendors in 25 states directly.”

In the last week of November, the company also announced the lighter version of their wallet, MobiKwik Lite. Under 1 MB in size, the app — built to work smoothly even on EDGE connections — was built to address the underserved smartphone users in India, who face challenges of slow data connectivity and are thus unable to access digital payments easily.

It was reported that the application had received two million downloads within 48 hours of its launch.

Further, the company has also announced initiatives like free bank transfers in the past, and claims to have received a hundredfold increase in overall traffic, along with a 200 percent increase in their app downloads post the demonetisation.

At present, the firm claims to stand at over 250,000 direct merchants and more than 40 million users.

On the other end, Paytm, MobiKwik’s arch rival, is reported to have a network of 1.5 million offline merchants. Also, Freecharge, which just today announced their partnership with Hyderabad-based payment solution provider Paynear, is looking to add another 15,000 merchants across 22 states in India.

However, these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The heat seems to be on for the enablement of digital payment solutions with wallet companies. While Paytm claims to have a ground activation team of 12,000 individuals to set up their network of offline QR codes, MobiKwik is actively setting up camps in Tier 2 cities to educate merchants on the use of digital payments.

This new development from MobiKwik comes days after co-founder Bipin Preet Singh attacked his competitors for using their foreign investments on just acquiring consumers through cashbacks. The scathing attack was interpreted to be against Paytm, and also involved accusations around the heavy flow of capital being used to buy data on the back of majority control in such firms.

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