Mobikwik plans to turn around biz with UPI and loans: But is it too late?


Mobile wallet company Mobikwik, which was left far behind in the digital payment race against Alibaba and SoftBank-backed Paytm, is back in the news after a long time.

The digital wallet company finally integrated its platform with government-owned unified payment interface (UPI) last week. A week later, numbers related to UPI have popped up that has reached a 5 million mark via @ikwik handles, a VPA (Virtual payment address) handle for UPI, according to an ET report.

After opening UPI-based payments system for consumers, the platform has also introduced a new payment method, via the UPI QR codes, for its merchant base that will allow them to easily accept payments from any UPI user.

Mobikwik appears to be suddenly charged with all the new schemes and plans to regain its lost position in the fledgling digital payment market.

The platform is also planning to partner with NBFCs to disburse loans to small businesses in the range of Rs 20,000 up to Rs 5 lakh.

This month, it also announced its partnership with cab aggregator Ola to allow users to directly book a cab via the Mobikwik app and pay through the wallet. The move was an attempt to increase the use case of the app and attract more users on the platform.

Within a month of the launch of the Ola booking service on the platform, Mobikwik claims to do some 20,000 odd bookings every day and aims to take the numbers to 1 lakh within the next few months.

But, is it enough?

It appears that all the moves made by Mobikwik are too little too late.

The mobile wallet platform has joined the UPI-payments bandwagon when digital payments platforms like Paytm and PhonePe are already fighting the biggest battle in the space and combinedly takes 55 per cent of the UPI market.

Even in the loan segment, Mobikwik is a latecomer, when Paytm decided to partner with financial institutions such as Capital Float to offer loans to merchants such as kirana stores, auto and taxi drivers and milk cooperatives based on their payments history back in 2016.

The SoftBank-backed company is now seeking a license from RBI to float a peer-to-peer lending platform as well as applied for an insurance license form IRDA also. It also had incorporated Paytm Money with $10 million initial investment to explore opportunities in personal finance and wealth management segments.

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