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‘Prepaid Phenomena Drives Mobile Payments in India’

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In an conversation with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet, Cheolwon (Charlie) Lee, Founder and CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of True Balance explained a detailed analysis of mobile payment market in India. True Balance is an innovative mobile application that allows pre-paid smartphone users to keep track of their data spending. The app allows users to know how much data has been consumed, how much money is left and how many days for the next recharge with just a swipe. The application was launched in January 2015.

Edited Excerpts: 

According to you, how is the mobile payment market evolving, globally?

Korea has been focusing on the mobile payment market for several years, but the market growth has been most tediously slow. Today, over 30 mobile payment systems are commercially available in Korea including Samsung Pay by Samsung Electronics.However, the mobile payment volume accounts only for about 1.0% of the total daily average transaction volume.The amount is steadily increasing nowadays, but the supply is pulling the demand, which is not an easy situation.

On the other hand, the mobile payment service is catching up with other traditional payment services at breakneck speed in India.According to BCG’s Digital Payment 2020, about 390 million mobile banking transactions occurred in India last year and this year, while the number was 747 million, nearly double for Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) that useeWallet and prepaid cards.The e-commerce market in India is expected to grow to $500 billion within the next 4 years, growing nearly tenfold to 15% of India’s GDP.

What relevance does Mobile payment carries for India’s Prepaid dominated mobile market?

The difference is whether precedent experience in a prepayment plan exists or not.Traditionally, users in Korea have been using postpaid plans close to 100%.ard or a bank account. Also, the existing card payment system is so convenient that they do not feel the need for mobile payment.

On the other hand, users in India have been using prepaid mobile plans all along, so they are used to the mobile payment method where they recharge their mobile plan on a regular basis using a linked credit card or bank account.Thus, a prepaid mobile plan has become their precedent experience for mobile payment.It is said that the demand for mobile payment is high in China where credit card usage is low. But India is the country who can lead the way in the mobile payment market based on its precedent experience.

How Mobile Payments can transform the Indian telecom scenario?

India has a foundation for mobile payment, but there are still many limitations to fully take advantage of it.The analysis of data collected from True Balance app, which exceeded 10 million downloads last July, reveals that many users have difficulties in using data.India’s smartphone users spend 7.5 days on average a month with zero balance in their data plan.That means, they can’t use data for a quarter of month.

Also, 30-40% users often switch their data package over to a new type of package.They are changing to a better data plan to get the most out of their limited budget.Considering that there are over 300 data packages to choose from, it takes too much effort to make a good decision.

What True Balance offers to the Indian mobile users?

True Balance was developed to solve this problem.After installing True Balance, users enter the confirmation number and just slide down for the message translation engine to automatically make a call and send you a message.The app automatically translates the data usage and display it on the screen.It shows the balance of calling minutes as well as data.Once the app is installed, the balance is automatically updated so users can view it on the notification bar. More than 50% of users use the app this way.

Also, True Balance has the “One Click Recharge” feature that allows fast and easy recharging at an optimal time.It tracks the balance and sends users an alarm when the balance is about to expire or reaches a preset limit. When users press the recharge button, it shows about 2 options, enabling fast selection and charging.

Most of all, True Balance offers customized usage analysis based on its powerful statistical feature.Users can use the best suited plan based on the statistical feature.The plan recommendation feature which will be soon available recommends to users the best data plan for them among all plans offered by mobile carriers.For example, it will recommend the “Airtel local call plan” to an Airtel user who mainly makes local calls to other Airtel users. An applicable data-only plan will be recommended for users who frequently use Facebook and WhatsApp, while the least expensive plan will be recommended from all available plans for users who use more than 500MB a month.

An efficient data plan selection and easy recharging are the basis for the use of mobile payment.Based on user data usage analysis, Balance Hero will continue to develop technologies that recommend the best plans for users and allow them to easily recharge their mobile.

SMEStreet Desk

SMEStreet is fast growing platform dedicated to entrepreneurs from small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). Committed to facilitate Knowledge & Networking for Business Growth, SMEStreet offers value added content which shows the actual voice of Indian MSMEs.

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