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After Ad Platform, now eWallet; Flipkart is on a launching spree

After Ad Platform, now eWallet; Flipkart is on a launching spree
Image credit: Flipkart
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

India’s largest e-commerce company, Flipkart launched its own digital wallet by the name ‘Flipkart Money’ on Thursday. Probably the only thing left for Flipkart to add to its list of services, this digital wallet can be used for Flipkart only transactions.

Flipkart Money has been launched on the company's Android app, where users can hold a balance of Rs 10,000 at a time. It is expected to expand to other platforms in few weeks. Consumers can top up the wallet with a maximum of Rs 25,000 a month using their credit cards, debit cards or via net banking. Cash can be withdrawn from the wallet to the cards or the bank account. Money is part of Flipkart Wallet, which includes WS Retail Credit (the biggest seller on Flipkart), gift cards and other bank cards saved on the online retailer's platform (ET).

With the aim to have a more organized method of payment and cutting significant costs related to handling cash on product returns, it is also a great opportunity for Flipkart to tap this growing market and compete with rivals like PayTM and MobiKwik. Digital wallets industry in India, still in its initial stages, has been able to gather millions of customers under its umbrella.  With 135 million wallet users, PayU Money, Paytm, MobiKwik, Oxigen and My Mobile Payments have captured around 70% of the market revenue, in no particular order (6Wresearch).

Where previously Flipkart has used cash on delivery for most of its payments other than bill and pre-paid mobile payments, this move means huge numbers for Flipkart given its million user platform. PayTM’s market is still very small when compared to Flipkart and yet fewer than 5% of its transactions are cash on delivery.

Cash on delivery is the most reliable form of online transaction in India and hence most used. Yet, it is not free from cons when it comes to quick refunds. On an average, 15% of ecommerce shipments end up in returns, according to experts tracking the industry. With Flipkart money people can enjoy benefits like single click payments, cash backs and enticing discounts. Other than this regular cash back services ensure that the customer is not leaving the platform.

Flipkart has been trying to enter this market for some time now. The closed wallet was launched in 2011 but due to RBI regulations, it was only able to hold transactions for WS Retailers only. It tried launching its own e-wallet in July 2013 by the name PayZippy, but proved to be unsuccessful when applied for the license. It was shut in November 2014.

The beginning of commerce advertising?

Just when we thought Flipkart cannot come up with new ways to make money, it came up with 'Brand Story Ads'. Its own advertisement platform, it already has 50 brands on board. The brands that have signed up for the ad campaigns include Yes Bank, L'Oreal, Micromax, Intel, Gillette, Datsun and Sony.

"With Brand Story Ads, we are offering a platform where the brands can target and engage with largest qualified commerce audience in the country at the right time for the right intent," Flipkart Senior VP Ravi Garikipati said.

The company positions Brand Story Ads as an interactive story format with content images and product guides that enables brands to tell their stories in a crisp and impactful manner.

Along with the brands that retail on Flipkart, this service will also be available to other non-retailing brands in sectors like real estate, FMCG, BFSI, auto, and telecom etc, the statement said.

"With the launch of Brand Story Ads, Flipkart has introduced a new form of advertising called - Commerce Advertising. Commerce Advertising delivers a holistic view of consumer's purchase journey post ad interactions and highlight effectiveness of the advertising campaigns," the statements said.

Edition: November 2016

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