Types of Mobile Wallets and Leaders in India

Since the dawn of the digital era in the world, so much of our attention has moved from face to face conversation to online. The rise of mobile wallet technology in India began somewhere around 2006 and has now started to take off rapidly.

Mobile wallets have seen a boost since November 2nd week when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were demonetized. The govt has initiated temporary measures to encourage the use of mobile wallets by fixing the limits of Mobile Wallets from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 and allowed merchants to transfer Rs 50,000 per month from wallets to their banks. Records state that the post demonetisation, Paytm is processing over 7 million transactions a day, worth over Rs 120 crores. The Indian government is now aiming to establish a cashless society and strategies are being laid to make it possible.

What do you Understand by a Mobile Wallet?

In simple terms, it is a digital technology to pay your bills online instantly without having to pay by cash or use your credit or debit card all the time. It acts like a virtual wallet, which can be preloaded with your preferred amount of money from your bank account or credit or debit cards and used to spend it online. You can simply use your smartphone or a tablet to make the payment. With e-Wallet apps installed on your mobile, you need not carry cash in your hands every time.

Mobile Wallets or Digital Wallets or e-Wallet apps will allow you to pay electricity bills, mobile recharge, get movie tickets and what not right from your mobile device you hold in your hands. You can quickly and feasibly load your mobile wallets by either using your credit or debit or via internet banking.

Types of Wallets

There are three types of mobile wallets in India – open, semi-closed and closed.

  • Open wallets − can only be issued by the banks. They allow you to purchase goods and services, cash withdrawal at ATMs and to transfer funds.
  • Semi-closed wallets − have a specific contract with the issuer to accept the payment instruments. They will allow you to buy goods and services or perform financial services at clearly identified merchant locations.
  • Closed wallets − are accounts issued by a company to a consumer for buying goods and services exclusively from that company. Here a certain amount of money is locked with the company in case of a cancellation or return of the order, or gift cards.

The size of The Indian mobile wallet market has grown so significantly that research says that it stands at about Rs 350 crore currently and is estimated to rise to Rs 1,210 crore by 2019. Paytm alone has about 20 million active users which is estimated to be larger than the increasing number of credit cards in India. At present, there are 10-12 mobile wallet companies operating in the country and let us look at some of the popular ones.

PayTM is one of the India’s largest and dominating mobile commerce platforms to make digital payments. It has a huge user base in the country with more than 1,000,000+ app installs and it also handles more than 30 million orders of various digital and physical goods every month. It allows you to buy movie tickets, online mobile recharge, pay electricity bills and much more from your mobile. It is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile Phone. Although all mobile wallets have been helped greatly by demonetization, Paytm has benefited somewhat disproportionately in terms of volumes


Mobiwik was introduced in the year 2009 and has about 25 million users with 50,000 retailers and more. It allows you to pay or transfer money using the mobile number. Mobikwik can be utilized for mobile recharge, bill payment and online shopping on popular e-commerce websites or apps like eBay, Snapdeal, ShopClues, MakeMyTrip, redBus, BookMyShow, Domino’s Pizza etc. It is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile Phone.


FreeCharge was founded in 2010 and is the fastest growing digital payment platform. It has about

20 million registered users and it is more of a mobile recharge tool. It also allows us to pay electricity bills, mobile and DTH recharge and many more. FreeCharge is available or Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile Phone.

State Bank Buddy

State Bank Buddy by State Bank of India’s mobile wallet application which is available in 13 different Indian languages and is made available for even non-SBI customers too. It allows users to set reminders for money transfers, to clear dues, view mini-statement bill payments and much more. It is available in Android and iOS.

The other mobile wallets on the rise existing in India are HDFC PayZapp, ICICI pockets, LIME, PhonePe, Ola Money, Airtel Money, mRupee, Momoe, PayUMoney, Citrus Pay, Citi Masterpass, HDFC chillr, Itzcash, Oxigen, M-Pesa and many. The mobile wallet concept replaces the traditional payment method and gives you the privilege to choose the right one for you based on the type of usage and payments which you opt to make.

India is adding 1 million new m-wallet users every day following the government’s move to demonetise 500 and 1,000-rupee banknotes. The govt has launched a massive effort to ensure India starts using more of digital payments & less of cash. With e-Wallet apps installed on your mobile, you are of no need to carry cash.

Updated on: 16-Jan-2020


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