If you look back at how the entire digital payments ecosystem has evolved in India in past half a decade or so, you’ll see, that most of it has been driven by the surge in e-commerce. Be it buying stuff online, recharging mobiles etc., it is this particular segment which helped digital payments soar zeniths in the rather conservative mindset of an Indian.
And looking at how rapidly digital payment companies are coming up with newer features and products, it’d be rather safe to say, that this particular segment has surpassed its bigger sibling e-commerce, at least on the innovation and rapid developments front.
A fresh example of that, would be FreeCharge’s just launched virtual plastic card service, FreeCharge Go, similar to the erstwhile launched virtual cards by PayTM and Oxigen.
Launched in association with YES Bank and Mastercard, FreeCharge Go is a virtual plastic money of sorts, with its own dedicated 16 digit card number, a CVV number and an added MPIN security layer. The card, which is currently available for use only in the online retail space, works exactly the way your usual debit/credit card works — without the hassles of carrying a physical card in your pocket and the fear of loosing it that comes along.
Govind Rajan, Chief Operating Officer, FreeCharge said,
FreeCharge Wallet is the fastest growing wallet in the country. We are insanely focused on UI – 0ver 99% of our transactions are completed in less than 10 seconds. As a result we have amongst the stickiest cohort – with over 72% consumers being repeat consumers.
We are partnering with MasterCard and YES Bank to launch the FreeCharge Go card. Transacting online will not only be swifter and safer with “FreeCharge Go” but universal too.
The card can be activated in just a few seconds, said the company.
Once you’ve activated the card, you will be able to see a 16 digit MasterCard number with an associated CVV in your FreeCharge account. You can however transact only when the MPIN has been entered and you’ve also verified the ownership of this card via an OTP sent to you.
This development, though comes late as compared to PayTM and Oxigen does make me wonder on the exciting prospects such services offer. While FreeCharge has launched this service for only online transactions as of now, the company has already talked about plans of launching this for offline purchasing.
This is also significant for a market like India, wherein services like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay or Android Pay might not work — considering the added merchant-side installations that come with it and the requirement of a high-end phone, services like FreeCharge Go virtually do not require anything from your end, except for that 16 digit card number.
This makes the entire use-case pretty convincing for emerging markets like India. Stay Tuned.