E-wallets, also known as mobile wallets or digital wallets, have become an essential part of life in India and many other countries. People use them for everything from paying for taxi rides and recharging their phones to grocery shopping and paying utility bills.
The magnification in e-wallets over the last 10 to 20 years has also coincided with India’s rapidly growing e-commerce sector, and more recently, the boom in online gambling sites. Electronic payments are made for the digital world, and users have embraced them thoroughly. Furthermore, governments around the world trying to crack down on money laundering and criminal activities, have led to less use of cash but more digital transactions.
Advantages of using e-wallets
- Convenience – With e-wallets now widely accepted, customers can use them for virtually anything, ranging from playing online casino games to buying a loaf of bread.
Furthermore, it’s usually possible to send and receive money instantly, which also adds to their appeal.
- Safety – E-wallets are highly secure. Customers don’t need to continuously share credit or debit card information, which can be a risk if it ends up in the wrong hands.
Also, the wallets themselves have numerous security features like 2FA, OTP via SMS and email login.
- More organized – Why have 10 (or more) apps when 1 can do the same job? Modern e-wallets are now an ecosystem of all things related to money. A delightful example is PhonePe; it has its own wallet as well as UPI functionality, making it quick and easy to make payments and receive money.
However, its ‘Switch’ feature hosts popular shopping, travel, and clothing apps, within its own app. No longer do users need multiple apps taking up valuable storage space because this 1 app has it all.
- Rewards – With a growing number of e-wallet applications in the market, rewards and loyalty programs have become an important component in keeping users satisfied. Offers you can pick up vary between different e-wallets, but movie tickets, shopping vouchers, and game passes are fairly common.
Top 5 Most Popular E-wallets in India
E-wallets in India have been a major success story in the FinTech revolution. Here’s an overview of the top five wallets currently in use.
Paytm is India’s most popular payments app. Users can pay through the Paytm wallet or the UPI platform. Furthermore, it now offers the Paytm Payments Bank and its own branded credit cards in conjunction with HDFC Bank and SBI.
As India’s largest mobile e-commerce site, customers can shop online for anything and use Paytm at the checkout. Many online casinos also accept direct Paytm payments, so gamblers are assured of fast and secure deposits and withdrawals in rupees.
PhonePe is another giant in the payment services sector in India. It has more than 300 million users, with 30+ million retail and online companies accepting PhonePe.
Like Paytm, PhonePe users can use a digital wallet, UPI or a linked debit or credit card for making payments. The PhonePe ecosystem is continually growing. Users can not only recharge their mobiles and pay utility bills, but they can shop online, book flights, buy train tickets, invest in gold and stocks, and fund their casino and sportsbook accounts.
Founded in 2009, MobiKwik payments service offers mobile wallet and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) features. It has over 100 million registered users, and it’s accepted at more than 2.5 million online and offline shopping locations.
Akin to Paytm and PhonePe, users can recharge their mobiles, pay for their broadband, insurance and utility bills. In addition, MobiKwik makes it easy to send money from your credit card to a bank account. The central focus of this company is its BNPL service which provides users with an instant line of credit for them to shop for their favourite things.
Developed by Axis Bank, Freecharge is another popular payment service and BNPL provider. Customers can add funds to their Freecharge wallet to pay for goods and services both in the real world and online. It’s also a part of the UPI ecosystem, so users can make real-time payments between more than 300+ partner banks in India.
For convenience, trust, and the most cutting-edge security, Google Pay ticks all the right boxes. However, it appears to be phasing out the old Google Wallet feature, instead requiring users to link a bank account.
With millions of people actively using Gmail and other Google products, the ecosystem for sending and receiving money is second to none. Furthermore, it’s also widely accepted online, and many gambling sites in India now list G Pay as one of their top payment methods.