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How Big Is The Indian Bill Payment Market? Technology comes at a cost. Literally.

By Ritu Kochar

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Technology has made our lives easier but it comes at a cost. Literally. As we ease into this lifestyle and expand our technology, the bills, being directly propotional, also increases and so do the ways we use to pay them.

It is this reason responsible for the growth of Indian Bills Payment at CAGR of 15.5% during FY'2010 to FY'2015 in terms of volume of bills paid. This market has grown piggybacking on the growth in the number of subscribers of Mobile, DTH, Data Card and utility services; higher internet penetration in India especially through the use of wireless devices; increased access to electrical appliances & higher tariff charges resulting in higher spending on electrical bills and rise in prices cooking gas.

The emeregence of payment portals, mobile wallet companies and payment banks have done wonders for bills payment market by offering lucrative deals such as cash back or discounts thus providing more value for money to the customers. Intense competition and strategic collaboration among these participants will help scale up acceptance of digital bill payments and foster growth.

How it works?

India bills payment market has been segmented on the basis of mode of payment into online bills payment market and offline bills payment market. Online bills payment is self initiated by the consumer and involves a digital payment while offline bills payment involves payment in cash to the billers or its designated payment outlet. The rapid growth of smartphone users, Internet penetration and e-commerce is driving the growth of non cash payments. There are a big number of mobile first internet users who do not need a laptop or a desktop to make an online bill payment. India bills payment market comprises of four major components namely, mobile bills payment, DTH bills payment, data card bills payment and utility bills payment.

Mobile wallets have much to contribute

Mobile wallet market in India is surging on account of growing online transactions, rising trend towards mobile banking, and ease of usage of mobile wallet applications. Mobile wallets have been transforming the digital payments landscape in India which in turn has helped mobile wallet bills payment market grow rapidly. Earlier, mobile wallets were used only for mobile recharges, which have now been extended to data card bill payments, DTH recharge and utility bill payments. However, during 2014-15, the use of mobile wallets surpassed the boundaries of bill payments and expanded its portfolio to include money transfers, e-commerce payments, payments for booking movie tickets, rail tickets with a host of other online bookings and payments.

The mobile wallet bills payment market in India is majorly dominated by a few large players, which have managed to gain dominance over the market in a very short span of time. The largest player in the mobile wallet bill payment market of India in FY'2015 was Paytm. Paytm is the first company that entered e-commerce space with mobile-first and wallet-first approach to e-commerce. Freecharge has been the second major player in the market of mobile wallets in India. It recently added metro card recharging as a feature of its platform. The wallet can be topped up with debit cards, credit cards and net banking.

Paying Bills Offline

India offline bills payment market stands for the market of cash bills payment. These cash bill payments can be made at the retail-cum-payment outlets or at the biller's desk. Biller's desk would mean the premises of the service provider as in case of the electricity service provider allows the customers to move to its premises to make a bills payment at the counter. During FY'2015, 94% transaction volume in the mobile bills payments market were generated from offline payment channels. In order to tap the vast consumer base in India the mobile and DTH service providers adopted a 2-tiered distribution channel. These providers appointed distributors and the distributor brought a number of retailers on panel.

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.
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