New Delhi: The government's decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has come as a shot in arm for mobile wallet companies like Paytm, Freecharge and Mobikwik that now expect to see a strong pick up in userbase as well as transaction sizes.
Even as citizens across the country went into a panic mode following the announcement, Paytm -- that has a current user base of 150 million -- jumped at the idea and issued full page advertisements asking people to go "cash free".
It added that its platform saw a whopping 435 percent increase in overall traffic, 200 percent hike in number of app downloads and 250 percent surge in number of overall transactions and transaction value -- all within hours of the decision being made public.
According to industry estimates, cash still accounts for over 78 percent of all consumer payments done in India. While the government has been taking steps to move towards a digital economy, the current move is expected to accelerate the transition.
Another player MobiKwik said it has witnessed over 40 percent increase in download of its within less than 18 hours of the announcement, while user traffic and merchant queries went up by 200 percent among its over 35 million users.
This has prompted the company to revise its business targets to now achieving a GMV of USD 10 billion by 2017.
Oxigen Wallet said it had witnessed significant increase in the load money transactions by upto 40-45 percent during the first half of the day.
"The average ticket size is also expected to jump by 50 percent going forward. All this because people will become more comfortable to adopt digital wallets for their cashless transactions," Oxigen Services India Deputy Managing Director Sunil Kulkarni said.
Industry watchers said mobile wallet companies are also expected to benefit further from transactions on e-commerce platforms. Amazon and Paytm has halted cash on delivery transactions on its platform, while players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have limited the CoD transaction to Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000, respectively.
Taxi aggregator Uber has advised its users to switch to digital payment options like credit/debit cards or mobile wallet to pay for rides as their driver-partners may not accept Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes for cash trips.