Reliance Jio, the newest telecom carrier which is spreading like wildfire, has today announced that it is extending its free usage welcome offer until March of next year. This surely is exciting news for customers who’ve deferred the purchase of a Jio SIM card due to long queues outside mobile stores.

But, Mukesh D. Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance also touched on the subject of demonetization and what the company has in store for both its growing customer base and merchants – yes, merchants!

In addition to the plan of diverting a major chunk of the smartphone frenzied population to its ‘sorta free’ telecom services, Jio is now also looking to partake in the digitally-enabled economic reform of the country. The company plans to enter the already crowded digital payments space via its JioMoney offering.

To accept the soon-to-come cashless economy, Mr. Ambani wants to make the conversion between digital and physical cash feel like less of a chore. Thus, Jio is planning to deploy Aadhar-based micro ATMs which will enable it to expand the digital wallet’s reach to million of touch points.

Also, the company has today announced the launch of ‘JioMoney Merchant Solution.’ This provides access to the company’s suite of services “for a very important segment of the Indian economy,” reads the official statement. It would most likely cater to the youth and include customized offerings for digital money transactions.

Users will be able to use this solution to complete different sort of transactions at mandis, small shops, restaurants, railway ticket counters. Bus, mass transit, and even person-to-person money transfers will work using this solution.

Jio is looking to sign up about 10 million small merchant retailers in the coming months. This expansion plan will span across 17,000 towns and 4 lakh villages. Starting December 5, these retailers will be able to download the new JioMoney merchant app.

Customers can use their JioMoney wallets to pay merchants from their bank accounts, and merchants can use the Jio-Money Merchant App to accept these payments directly into their bank accounts,

says Mr. Ambani.

This most likely is a dangerous territory to step foot at this point of time when well-positioned players like Paytm, Freecharge or even Mobikwik are already delivering robust services. But, Jio would be banking on its growing user base both in urban and rural areas to lead the company’s ambitious push into this cashless payment system. We’ll now have to wait and witness if the company will taste success or disappear into nothingness.

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