State-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched a bespoke mobile wallet named ‘BSNL Wallet’ that will enable its existing 100 million customers to make bill payments in a tap. Also, the users will be able to make daily purchases at 1.5 million merchants all over India.
The wallet has been developed and issued by MobiKwik on behalf of BSNL. It will enable online recharges, bill payments, shopping and bus booking. Users can get all recharge offers – top ups, SMS, data (GPRS, 2G, 3G & 4G), local, STD, ISD, postpaid, DTH plans, vouchers and full talk time recharge. The wallet will also allow users to pay for IRCTC train tickets.
This isn’t the first time BSNL is entering the payments space. As early as July 2015, it had launched mobile wallet SpeedPay, which is linked to a mobile number. Users can send money to someone’s SpeedPay account even if they do not have a bank account and the receiver can retrieve that money from a bank or a BSNL outlet. The wallet, launched in partnership with the IT company Pyro and a tie-up with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, can also be used to recharge phones or pay utility bills.
In December 2016, BSNL tied up with SBI to launch the MobiCash mobile wallet. It offers facilities like fund transfer, mobile recharge (BSNL Pre-paid), bill payment (BSNL landline and Post-paid), balance enquiry and mini statement. The wallet is available on smartphones as well as basic/feature phones, extending its reach to semi-urban and rural areas.
But, this partnership is significant as the tie-up is with a mobile wallet and not with a financial company to launch a wallet that has their own name and will help them reach out to their customers better.