Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform announced on Thursday that it is getting into perhaps the only race it hasn’t been running in off late — digital wallets. And to get into that, the company is now launching a new service called Flipkart Money which will act as the company’s new online wallet and payment method.
Flipkart, six months ago, had acquired a majority stake in payments startup– FX Mart, to integrate payment service in its own platform as well as in Myntra’s. This was the company’s second acquisition in digital payments, the first being NGPay (Jigrahak Mobility Solutions Pvt. Ltd). FX Mart is the heart behind the new payment method introduced by the online retailer. It had secured a five-year prepaid wallet license in October 2014 which seems to be the main reason why Flipkart went on with the acquisition in the first place.
Until now, Flipkart’s online wallet included WS Retail Credit, Gift Cards and other saved cards on the online retailer. With the launch of Money, you can now perform transactions up to Rs 10,000 at a time using a credit card, debit card and net banking. Balance at a time is currently limited to Rs 10,000 only on the wallet and a total of Rs 25,000 can be added to it per month.
The service is currently exclusively available for Android smartphones and tablets with future roll outs for other platforms expected to be coming in the next few weeks. The service could help Flipkart redefine its refund policies and allow customers to enjoy benefits like single click payments.
The company had previously introduced a closed wallet system way back in 2011 but was forced to restrict the service to WS Retail in 2013 to comply with India’s FDI regulations on retail. The company later applied for license through its payment gateway business Payzippy in July 2013. The request was denied which led to the shut down of Payzippy last year.
Flipkart isn’t the first online shopping service in India to introduce an online wallet, though. PayTM, backed by Alibaba, works as both a wallet and a shopping portal and could be traced back to be one of the first in this genre. Even Snapdeal, Flipkart’s long time rival, has a wallet service called Freecharge.