Digital Payments
With this partnership, users will be able to use AutoPay, through standing instructions, to pay for Ola cabs booked through PhonePe platform.

Flipkart-owned UPI-based payment platform PhonePe has announced a partnership with Ola where users can book an Ola using the PhonePe app. With this integration, PhonePe users will have access to Ola’s multi-modal commuting offerings, along with the benefit of using the industry-first AutoPay feature.

The auto pay feature, which PhonePe clams is a first, allows users to set up payment instruction one time after which fare deduction happens automatically. According to it, with both the companies already catering to a large user base, this also becomes the first large scale implementation of AutoPay (through standing instructions) for ride bookings in India. Users also have the flexibility of setting and switching off AutoPay instructions anytime they want.

“With this partnership our users can enjoy the ease of using their preferred ride sharing app from within PhonePe while being assured of the reliability and integrity of their payments. Ola’s scale and reach, topped with our Auto-pay feature will enable greater convenience and control to our users while making payments seamless,” Rahul Chari, Co-founder and CTO, Phone Pe said.

With the launch of the partnership, the feature is currently available to just over 5% of PhonePe’s users and 1% of iOS. The feature will be available to all the users by end of this week.

“At Ola, we are focused on building products and services that enrich customer experience on our platform. Through this integration, millions of Phone Pe users will be able to avail Ola’s services and offerings seamlessly. Such partnerships drive the vision of Digital India, getting more users to experience the benefits of online services. As two of India’s popular homegrown brands, we will capitalise on each other’s strengths to enable smart, sustainable and inclusive mobility for India,” Ankit Bhati, Co-founder and CTO, Ola, said.

For Ola, this is a way to access more users while bringing a value add in terms of enhancing cashless transitions.

PhonePe says that the Ola micro-app is also a big technology milestone for it as it has been built ground-up by the PhonePe team using the Ola developer platform. It is the first of its kind mapping application using react native that provides not just location but navigation with directionality, matching the experience of native iOS and Android maps. PhonePe has abstracted a lot of common functionalities like tracking, status notifications, in-app communication that other in-app categories can exploit. In the future, these will be available for other partner apps as well.

This is the second such partnership PhonePe has entered into after launching RedBus micro app earlier this year.

PhonePe has been betting big on its micro app platform and is looking to enter into several other such partnerships across industries.

“Between RedBus launch and this, we took so much time to be able to build those platform components and modernise some of the features internally to enable us to take on a much healthier and faster pipeline of merchants coming onto PhonePe store. Very quickly, you will see bunch of announcements following. We are heavily focusing on travel, hospitality, entertainment, food and other such high frequency categories,” says Rituraj Rautela, head- In app partner stores, PhonePe.

According to Rahul, the advantage of having a strategy like the micro app platform is that it brings capability to the entire ecosystem. “As a transaction platform, we are actually able to offer our 100 million users more and more use cases rapidly. Merchants are able to build out experiences in matter of few weeks and launch them to userbase and PhonePe is able to take new payment constructs such as autopay to merchants. So it is a win-win for everyone,” he adds.

Moreover, to be able to offer various categories such as food, travel and entertainment, PhonePe doesn’t see building out these categories on its own as a scalable proposition. Rahul says that through the micro apps platform, everyone focuses on their own strength.

This will also enable businesses to reach out with their services to a highly relevant and rapidly growing base of over 100 million PhonePe users.

As for PhonePe, it strengthens its position as a payments container and will help it continue its growth. PhonePe claims to register around 2 million transactions each day through its platform and aims to reach 5 million by December.

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