Making digital money experience a reality for rural India
People living in the remote areas now just need to download Mobikwik app on their handsets to get started with digital payment.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
People living in the remote areas of our country now no longer have to wait for banks to reach them to open an account or to transact. They just need to download Mobikwik app on their handsets to get started with digital payment.
Enabling Financial Inclusion
To make this happen, India's largest independent mobile payments network MobiKwik has recently announced its partnership with Bengaluru-based assisted e-commerce platform StoreKing. StoreKing enables small town retailers to sell their products to walk-in customers without having to invest in working capital stock. The platform leverages the use of modern low cost technology – kiosks, equipped with low cost TV monitors and Android tablets, to provide a self-service shopping experience to small-town shoppers.
The partnership aims to bring the convenience and success of e-commerce model to rural India and is significant in enabling financial inclusion. Around 10 million rural users are expected to benefit from the collaboration, in terms of making payments via MobiKwik's mobile wallet and payments for online purchases on StoreKing's platform.
Commenting on the collaboration, Bipin Preet Singh, Founder CEO, MobiKwik said, "As we continue to work in collaboration with retailers and merchants of all sizes, MobiKwik's mobile application will increasingly be seen as a destination for users to browse local businesses, order ahead, and transact at the point-of-sale. With this partnership, we are extending the reach of MobiKwik wallet to rural India and breaking barriers presented by traditional payment methods." The partnership will further enable MobiKwik to expand to 10,000 retail stores in 600 small towns and 5,000 villages across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Goa.
The retail stores would be trained to help rural users download the MobiKwik mobile app and add cash to it to buy goods. Tablet-based terminals will provide access to StoreKing's e-commerce platform. MobiKwik's mobile payment solution will allow instant one-tap payments for orders placed on the terminals as well as for in-store purchases. Rural masses can operate MobiKwik wallet services on Android, Windows and iOS mobile applications and even on MobiKwik.com.
"Rural India is the least priority area for any digital business because 90 per cent of rural consumers do not have a bank account and rely only on cash payments. StoreKing and MobiKwik are now bringing digital disruption to rural India across South India. Using over 10,000 digital touch points of StoreKing, more than 10 million rural citizens now have the opportunity to open a MobiKwik wallet and start making digital payments for all their purchases. The digital money experience is now just a tap away for rural India," said Sridhar Gundaiah, CEO- StoreKing
Both the companies, MobiKwik and StoreKing will also provide free Wi-Fi connections at the stores to enable users to download the MobiKwik app on their phone. Besides paying for goods at the store, users can also use the wallet for mobile recharges, phone bill payments, DTH recharges and money transfer to other MobiKwik users.
Living in the digital era, the share of rural internet users is expected to increase nearly five-fold to touch Rs 28 crore mark by 2018. This indicates increase in online purchasers from remote areas of India. As per Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) report on digital consumption, the country will have as many as 55 crore internet users by the end of 2018, of which, 28 crore would be from smaller towns and cities. Another recent report by PwC states that the number of rural e-commerce internet users is growing by 58 per cent annually, fuelled by the increase in the number of smartphones and 3G subscriptions.