Mo­bile Wal­let Cos Turn to Corp Gift­ing and Re­im­burse­ment Biz

The Economic Times - - Markets: Beating Volatility - Pratik.Bhakta@ times­group.com

Mum­bai: Af­ter bill pay­ments, recharges and shop­ping for in­di­vid­ual cus­tomers, mo­bile wal­let com­pa­nies are vy­ing for the cor­po­rate gift­ing and re­im­burse­ment space as the re­tail busi­ness growth ap­pear to be ta­per­ing. Pay­ment com­pa­nies like Zeta and Transerv have de­vel­oped dig­i­tal meal vouch­ers, which are part of the salary pack­age that can be loaded into the em­ployee’s wal­let as tai­lored to the needs of In­come Tax re­quire­ments.

At least 6,000 mer­chants, restau­rants and cafes have been short­listed by these com­pa­nies and more than a dozen com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Tata Mo­tors, Arvind Mills and hous­ing.com have en­rolled to use these ser­vices.

“The dif­fer­ence from a con­ven­tional wal­let is that the pay­ment through this op­tion has to be as per the in­come tax laws as to whe- re and how much is the em­ployee al­lowed to spend,’’ said Ramki Gadi­patty, co-founder of Zeta. “If it is a daily al­lowance then the rules are dif­fer­ent but if it is a meal coupon then the dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nel gets ac­ti­vated to de­cide where it can be ac­cepted.” These com­pa­nies are look­ing for new av­enues of busi­ness. Even banks have started of­fer­ing a ma­jor­ity of pay­ment ser­vices which is com­press­ing the prof­itabil­ity of these firms.

“We have to un­der­stand that wal­lets are not only about mak­ing a mer­chant pay­ment or a phone recharge but have far many dif­fer­ent uses around so­cial gift­ing,’’ said Asu­tosh Upad­hyay, chief prod­uct of­fi­cer, Transerv, which runs its dig­i­tal wal­let un­der the brand name of Udio. “We are cre­at­ing a repos­i­tory which has a lot of ecom­merce vouch­ers, lo­cal deals, geo lo­cated spe­cific ac­tiv­i­ties where pay­ments can be made through our Udio wal­let.”

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