With the governmentâ€™s sudden decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes leaving people stranded without cash, mobile wallets also known as e-wallets present a suitable alternative.
What are e-wallets?
An e-wallet is a virtual wallet that holds money and can be used for online payments instantly. It works similar to a physical wallet except that you do not transact in solid cash. It can be used at physical stores or at e-stores.
How many types of e-wallets exist?
Open wallets: can be used at any merchant location for purchase of goods and services, including financial services and also at ATMs. These wallets can be issued only by banks. Eg. HDFC bankâ€™s Payzapp.
Semi-closed wallets: can be used at specifically designated merchant locations or establishments that have a definite contract with the issuer to accept the payment. Eg. Paytm, MobiKwik.
Closed wallets: can be used for buying goods and services exclusively from a company that issues it. Eg. Flipkart, Snapdeal.
Some of the common e-wallet apps in the market
Payzapp: is offered by HDFC and can be used for a variety of purposes including buying movie tickets, flight tickets and shopping online. You can also send money instantly to anybody on your phone or email list, make bill payments online and recharge bills. This app is available for download on Android, Windows and iOS platforms.
You can find more details here.
PayTM: was launched as an e-commerce marketplace in February 2014 after initially beginning as a platform for mobile recharges and bill payments. Bookmyshow, Makemytrip and Uber are among its wallet partners.
The wallet can be topped up using credit cards, debit cards, netbanking, IMPS merchant payments. The app is available for download on Android, Windows and iOS.
MobiKwik: is similar to PayTM and offers similar options for making online payments. It also offers a doorstep cash collection service which can help users who do not have access to a credit card or bank account. It also offers the facility of booking IRCTC train tickets. It is available for download on Android, Windows and iOS.
A maximum of Rs 10,000 can be added to the wallet in a calendar month.
Flipkart: is Indiaâ€™s largest e-commerce platform and the app is available for download on Android, Windows and iOS.
Snapdeal: is another popular online shopping platform that is a rival of Flipkart and can be used for shopping across a wide variety of categories. It is available for download on Android, Windows and iOS.