Digital war: Airtel, Voda, Idea woo merchants to use payments apps

 

LATEST NEWS – Amid revenue losses on account of the government’s demonetisation move, and competitive pressures intensified by extension of free services by Reliance Jio, older telecocompanies seem to have been forced to provide incentives to get merchants to opt for digital payment applications.

According to sectoral data, around 12 million more Indians have started using digital wallets. The reach of mobile payments rose six per cent in the week following the demonetisation announcement, while usage frequency surged 15 per cent, says Rajan Mathews, director-general at the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

Here’s what is in store:

1. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, and the new entrant into the space, Reliance Jio, are offering incentives to shop owners and retail chains to sign up with them. Additionally, they are trying to capture more urban and rural areas under their bandwidth. The focus is on tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

2. Airtel Bank will commence the pilot with banking points at 10,000 Airtel retail outlets. Customers will get the benefit of free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank), personal accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh with every savings account, easy deposit and withdrawal facility across a wide network of Airtel retail outlets. READ MORE

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