FreeCharge adop­tion surges 10X

Voice&Data - - ANALYSIS -

on­line mer­chants im­pacted by the phas­ing out of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 cur­rency notes.

A Snapdeal spokesper­son says, “We sup­port the de­mon­e­ti­za­tion ef­fort by the gov­ern­ment, and are com­mit­ted to mak­ing this tran­si­tion as fric­tion­less and con­ve­nient as pos­si­ble for our con­sumers. We worked closely with our users through­out the last week to en­sure there was no lapse in their ex­pe­ri­ence, and they have re­sponded by swiftly adopt­ing al­ter­na­tive pay­ment modes, espe­cially the ‘Wal­let on De­liv­ery’ op­tion. We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion closely, and do as re­quired to en­sure it is busi­ness as usual on our plat­form.”

Mean­while, the gov­ern­ment on its part ap­pealed to the public to sup­port the move and stated that there was no ques­tion of a roll back hap­pen­ing. With many con­sumers opt­ing for cash­less op­tions, the im­por­tance of the United Pay­ment In­ter­face (UPI) and ecosys­tems, such as Blockchain have come into fo­cus.

Tr­ish­neet Arora, Founder & CEO, TAC Se­cu­rity, says, “Go­ing cash­less is the fu­ture in a econ­omy that is be­com­ing dig­i­tal. The de­mon­eti­sa­tion is a good move for the IT sec­tor. There is also a need for bet­ter se­cu­rity sys­tems so that peo­ple can trust dig­i­tal medi­ums of trans­ac­tions bet­ter. A per­ti­nent need for greater aware­ness ex­ists as credit card frauds cost banks and credit card companies over $8 bil­lion each year. Apart from the Ap­ple Pay fraud, such large-scale ‘mo­bile wal­let frauds’ have not been wit­nessed so far, if we dis­count cus­tomer care­less­ness from the pic­ture. How­ever, there is se­ri­ous lack of aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing of this risk. Sev­eral busi­ness per­son­al­i­ties are not tak­ing cy­ber threats se­ri­ously.” The em­pha­sis on a dig­i­tal econ­omy, are but two sides of the coin. Grow­ing pains as they say. The de­mon­e­ti­za­tion drive made FreeCharge do away with the ini­tial set-up charges and also the com­mis­sion charged to mer­chants on each transaction. To make the com­plete dig­i­tal pay­ments process free, it also waived the charge for trans­fer­ring funds from the FreeCharge wal­let to the mer­chant’s bank. This of­fer led to a sharp increase in the num­ber of mer­chants sign­ing up to start re­ceiv­ing pay­ments through FreeCharge.

The com­pany has re­vealed that nearly 60% of the mer­chants who signed up in the days fol­low­ing Nov 8 de­mon­e­ti­za­tion an­nounce­ment, re­ceived their first dig­i­tal pay­ment within one hour of start­ing their FreeCharge wal­let.

FreeCharge has seen a 10X surge in the num­ber of re­tail mer­chant sign-up queries, with most of the queries com­ing from gro­cery stores, phar­ma­cies and food joints. The queries per­tain to the sign-up process, doc­u­men­ta­tion re­quired to on­board, com­mer­cial ar­range­ment etc.

In or­der to quickly en­able the mer­chant on-board­ing, FreeCharge has also started a drive ask­ing its en­tire team to help the re­tail mer­chants in their prox­im­ity to sign-up as a mer­chant and help them start ac­cept­ing the dig­i­tal pay­ments in the short­est pos­si­ble time.

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