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This Indian Digital Wallet Company Founder Says Its Biggest Competitor is Cash

Upasana Taku expects overall digital payments to contribute 35-40 percent of total transactions in the economy by 2018.
This Indian Digital Wallet Company Founder Says Its Biggest Competitor is Cash
Image credit: MobiKwik
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The co-founder & Director of India’s leading mobile wallet company MobiKwik Upasana Taku says the company’s biggest competitor is cash as India is a dominant cash economy.

While MobiKwik has seen a 1000 per cent increase in digital payments since demonetization, Taku feels there is scope for multiple players to become dominant in this market and there is no need for players to worry about competing with each other.

“Digital payments have been increasing rapidly and there is so much scope to take digital payments from 13-14 percent to 30-40 percent.” She expects overall digital payments to contribute 35-40 percent of total transactions in the economy by 2018.

Taku believes as the market becomes more lucrative, the digital payments industry could see some consolidation. “Even after consolidation, I expect 4 or 5 players to survive in the market.”

Digital Penetration

More and more urban users are moving towards digital because the government is asking them to. They are moving because more and more products and services are available to them digitally than they are available at a store near them says Taku.

“We are seeing huge demand from users in the top 30-40 cities where more and more users are latching on to Mobikwik. We are also deepening our relationship with users in the rural markets.”

Security

She flags cyber security as one of the most crucial issues and says consumers, banks and digital wallets should take it very seriously.

Taku says if a consumer’s wallet is not secure, then that is the prerogative of any wallet company to manage that no one should be able to access your account.

 “I have seen some startups being frivolous and launch new products and services that are not certified or tested for security purposes. There have also been cases of mass fraud where a large number of customers have been fraudulently duped. Fortunately, we have not had any such instance. The scale is huge and therefore, even if few people complain it looks like many have complained. For us, the dispute rate is 0.001 percent.”

But mistrust, money getting debited from your bank account and not credited into your wallet, or sometimes the reverse of that, these are all non-security issues says Taku. “What is happening here is that these are all server-related issues.”

Future Growth

There are two things that need to happen in India believes Taku.

“Our broadband or our data infrastructure needs to significantly improve to reduce all user mistrust issues. A lot of consumer awareness needs to happen for digital payments to understand the difference between security and phishing.”

She believes banks that actually have 300 million debit cards have not done enough spending on consumer awareness in a cash-heavy market. 

(The interview was taken at the Moneytech Summit organised by Entrepreneur)

 
Edition: May 2017

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