At a time when the Government is working on introduction of Payment Banks to increase financial inclusion, payment solutions providers are taking a step forward to use social media platforms as an extension tool for payments.
Gurgaon-based Oxigen Services India Pvt Ltd, a payment solution provider, on Tuesday launched the country's first social media wallet - Oxigen Wallet that enables users to share money over social networks and messaging platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google+, and Twitter. Besides, users would be able to recharge mobile phones, pay bills and shop via online merchants using their mobile wallet.
While the limit for fund transfer would be Rs 10,000 for normal users, the maximum limit would be Rs 50,000 if the user complies with full know-your-customer (KYC) norms.
"Ours is the country's first social mobile wallet service through which people can share money with their friends and family over their preferred social networks and messaging platforms," said Oxigen Chairman and Managing Director Pramod Saxena. The company is essentially targeting the young generation with its Oxigen Wallet that it has launched in partnership with Singapore-based Fastacash.
Users would require downloading the application on their mobile devices to avail the service. "We see the opportunity to leverage the social connect to India's 900 million mobile users and 100 million Facebook accounts, where the youth is rapidly adopting social media apps like WhatsApp, Twitter etc," said deputy MD Sunil Kulkarni. Besides money, users can also send photos, videos and audio and text messages to personalise the transfer, he added.
The company has processed more than 2 billion payment transactions exceeding Rs 20,000 crore, through small retail, modern retail chains and banking websites. It processes nearly half a billion transactions annually and has already acquired 1.5 million mobile wallet accounts, clocking close to 1 million transactions a month.
It facilitates instant money transfer across more than 60 banks.
Meanwhile, Kulkarni said Oxigen is planning to apply for Payment Bank licence once the Government finalises the guidelines. "We already have the network and capabilities to operate as a Payment Bank. The final guidelines are expected by end of December. We'll surely get into the space which will give us more options like cash out and foreign exchange remittance," he added.
Oxigen is also working on plans to launch virtual Cash Cards by October this year, while it continues to strengthen presence in new geographies like the US and Dubai targeting the non-resident Indians.
Oxigen works with a very low transaction service charge and is growing at more than 30 per cent (annualised) over the past few years. The growth was higher at about 50 per cent in the past couple of years, said Kulkarni. Oxigen's gross transaction value stood at Rs 5,000 crore in fiscal year ended March 2014.