FreeCharge targets 35 million digital wallet users by March

Seven weeks after the launch of its digital wallet, FreeCharge — the online recharge platform that was acquired for $400 million by Snapdeal this April — says it has already garnered 8 million active wallet users and is on track to hit 35 million by March 2016.

The wallet is a combined account between Snapdeal and FreeCharge which all users on both can access by logging into either their FreeCharge or Snapdeal accounts.

“FreeCharge and Snapdeal have a combined user base of 93 million, of which 8 million are active wallet users, including existing and new users. We are adding one million wallet users every six days and are on track to have 35 million wallet users by March 2016” Govind Rajan, COO, FreeCharge, told Business Line.

In line with its vision to become the digital payment O/S of the country, FreeCharge is preparing to launch a suite of merchant products early next month for offline as well as online merchants. It will thereafter launch two new merchant solutions every two months.

Biggest challenge

Stating that the company’s biggest challenge is to create a better, quicker, safer form of currency than cash, Rajan said: “Today cash is our biggest enemy as the prevalence of cash in India is four times as much as its prevalence in similarly developed economies. We are working with merchant partners to get them to accept digital payments instead of cash from their customers and are collaborating with a few in the groceries and QSR space to design and close the products by the month end.” The company has come up with a digital payment solution where offline merchants can accept digital payments from their customers in 5-6 seconds, with existing infrastructure. “Our challenge was to enable digital payments faster than a credit card payment without merchants having to invest in extra infrastructure and also create a user authentication PIN which is instantly generated on the FreeCharge wallet app itself, saving users a lot of time” said Rajan.

The company will initiate a pilot in Delhi in December to enable Aadhaar card holders via biometric authentication to become FreeCharge registered wallet users.

“We will have access to a pool of 930 million Aadhaar card holders who we will help onboard to our digital wallet.”

The company will spend ₹100 crore in a 360 degree marketing campaign showcasing digital payments across every facet during the Indian Premier League 2016.

“We have bought the on-ground rights to the IPL where our target audience of young smartphone users will experience how digital payments work from booking a cab to the venue, buying IPL tickets, food & beverages in the stadium, to buying IPL merchandise and paying to be a part of the post-match celebrations through our wallet” said Rajan.