E-commerce giant Flipkart which owns payments platform PhonePe, is in the process of integrating MobiKwik on its platform to power the mobile and utility bills payments section, according to two people familiar with the development.
The backend integration has been completed and internal testing has been underway for the past two weeks, according to one of the two people cited above.
“MobiKwik is expected to be live on Flipkart by the end of this month,” added the person, requesting anonymity. “But it’s quite surprising that they are opting for MobiKwik when PhonePe is already there.”
It’s worth noting that currently PhonePe is the default option for any recharge facilities on Flipkart. While onboarding of more partners is obvious for Flipkart, choosing MobiKwik, or any other partner for payments, is a surprising move.
Horizontal e-commerce majors Flipkart and Amazon have been integrating third-party offerings to cross-sell their services. Flipkart has been doing it through its own platform as well as via PhonePe, whereas Amazon largely does it via its shopping app and Amazon Pay.
In the past, Flipkart had partnered with MakeMyTrip for flight and bus tickets. In a bid to widen its scope and leverage its network, the company is set to onboard more partners and one such is MobiKwik. Flipkart’s flights are powered by ixigo.
So far every mobile, DTH and utility bills payments have been powered by PhonePe on Flipkart. Onboarding any third party would eventually eat into PhonePe’s volume of transactions via Flipkart. However, according to the second source, PhonePe doesn’t see MobiKwik as competition as they believe it’s too small.
“Over the past year, PhonePe’s focus has shifted to merchant payments. So, it might not be interested in recharge and utility bill payments anymore. Merchant acquiring is key for them at the moment,” said the second source. She did not wish to be named.
MobiKwik has declined to comment. Flipkart did not respond to a detailed questionnaire sent by Entrackr. We will update the post as and when they respond.
The partnership with Flipkart will bring some traction to MobiKwik that has been left behind in the consumer payments race. Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe and Amazon Pay command over 90% market share in the burgeoning and preferred payments instrument — UPI.
While we don’t know the upside for Flipkart in this deal, it must be a well-thought decision is what we hope.