The Prime Minister s vision of a Digital India seems to getting closer and closer to reality each day now. After demonetization, the nation has begun to adapt to the idea of digital payments, also because they do not have much of an option. And in the entire process of digitizing the monetary transactions, the mobile wallet companies have emerged as the winners. After Ola Money collaborating with local utility providers in the country, Freecharge has partnered with Mumbai Traffic Police for cashless collection of traffic fines. Also Read - How to book COVID-19 vaccine slot via Paytm App, get Covaxin and Covishield shots with these simple stepsAlso Read - Alert! Paytm cashback scam: Fake Paytm website, it's a trick to steal your money
Close to 500 e-challan devices have been rolled out to various traffic check posts across the city at present. Once an offender is caught violating any rule, an e-challan will be generated against the vehicle registration number. The challan would also be sent to person s mobile phone immediately. The user can then log on to the Mumbai Police s website and enter their challan or vehicle number, and pay using FreeCharge on the payments page. Also Read - 5 apps helping people get through the COVID-19 second wave: Twitter, CoWIN, Aarogya Setu
In a statement shared earlier, Mumbai traffic police said that it expects an annual increase of 8 lakh challans, from the existing 22 lakhs. Such an effort will also help them in identifying and taking action against repeat offenders.
We are pleased to partner with Mumbai Traffic Police in their pursuit of making the process of collecting fines cashless. Digital payments make the process faster and more efficient. Such partnerships are in line with our objective to make FreeCharge an everyday, everywhere option for our users, Govind Rajan, CEO of FreeCharge said.
Additionally, FreeCharge is also in discussion with police authorities in other cities to enable traffic challans to be paid using FreeCharge. This could be a massive profit-making project for Freecharge, as the amount of traffic challans in metros is sizeable, Delhi pays about Rs 140 Crores annually, Mumbai about Rs 100 Crores, while Bengaluru collects Rs 70 Crores. Even smaller cities like Ahmedabad collect nearly Rs 17 Crores annually as traffic fines.
Like in the case of Freecharge the government has been encouraging other mobile wallet companies as well to integrate their service in every aspect of a user s life where a financial transaction is involved. For instance Ola Money recently partnered with 25 utility providers across India to enable people to pay gas and electricity bills through its mobile wallet. Ola Money can also be used to pay for food, entertainment, ticketing, travel, recharge, and shopping. Additionally, Ola also partnered with banks like State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank to ease cash crunch, and is allowing people to withdraw cash by swiping debit cards at select Ola cabs. This service has currently been rolled out by Ola only on a test basis in Kolkata and Hyderabad where taxis with a bank officer and PoS machine are parked at different locations and dispense cash of up to Rs 2,000 per card. ALSO READ: Ola Money now lets you pay utility bills from the app
Also, earlier this month, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) confirmed its partnership with Paytm for automatic toll collection. Under the tie-up with the NHAI, commuters can now use Paytm FASTags to zip past toll plazas while the service automatically deducts charges from their digital wallets. The service allows vehicles with FASTag cards to pass toll plazas without having to stop. FASTag is a rechargeable tag that is fixed on the windscreen of vehicles and allows automatic deduction of toll charges with the help of radio-frequency identification technology (RFID). The tag is then linked to a prepaid account from which the amount is deducted every time the vehicle passes through the plaza. With a one-time fee of Rs 200, the FASTag requires a minimum recharge amount of Rs 100 and allows recharge up to Rs 1 lakh for commercial vehicles. ALSO READ: Over 35 million online recharges done since demonetization: Paytm
Mobile wallet companies are not only partnering with other companies, but they are expanding their portfolios as well. Mobikwik recently announced a new Lite version of its app that works on slower internet connections and offers multi-language support. While the Lite app retains core features of the main version, it is especially targeted at merchants or users who do not have a robust internet connectivity or email account, and in the current situation of cash crisis are struggling with receiving or making payments. The company has also launched a new facility that lets customers make payments through their credit and debit cards without needing to download the Mobikwik app. ALSO READ: MobiKwik Lite app launched, lets customers pay via credit and debit cards
Paytm recently introduced an app-based PoS system that allows merchants, who do not own a card swipe machine to accept payments through credit and debit cards. But in order to make card payments, a user is required to enter their card details onto the merchant s smartphone, unlike Mobikwik which allows transactions to be controlled on a user s device. ALSO READ: Paytm relaunches app-based PoS system after adding more features