Post the demonetization period India went through, PayTM became a household name. Whether you liked it or not, digital wallets suddenly found space in everyone’s mobile devices. I have been an early adopter of digital wallets because it bears a lot of benefits it used right. Same is applicable for credit cards as well. As with anything, during this phase, a lot of new digital wallets were launched. Now with Whatsapp already planning to roll-out a Peer-to-Peer payment service, this market may head to consolidation. Lets still check out the top 10 digital wallets in India and why you should join more than one.
What is a Digital Wallet?
You may already know the answer to this but for uninitiated, Digital Wallet is a like a bank account where you can load money and use it to pay for various offline and online services. Unlike Bank accounts, these wallets do not offer you any interest on the money kept in the wallet but are more for ease of digital transactions and availing some offers on using their services. Paytm is one of the most popular digital wallets at this time.
What are the benefits of a Digital Wallet?
There are quite a few benefits of having a digital wallet:
- Allows you to go cashless without the need to go through the process of acquiring credit cards.
- It safe thanks to countless protocols in place
- Makes transactions trackable and easier to manage
- Get offers, benefits and rewards forusing digital wallets
- Allows you to do multiple things like – Transfer to friends, Online Shopping, Pay at offline merchants or even pay your Bills
- Is instant and free (for users)
Is Digital Wallet same as BHIM/UPI?
Digital Wallets are not same as the BHIM app or UPI service is basically a payment interface allowing easy peer-to-peer transactions. Google Tez uses this technology and so will Whatsapp. Some digital wallets do support UPI money transfers but they provide way more functionality for the users.
But are Digital Wallets SAFE?
Honestly, the way internet works today, nobody can ever claim for anything to 100% tamper proof. There are always people who want something bad enough that they keep trying to find lowly ways. However, the digital transactions over your digital wallet are highly secure. They employ the latest security encryption technology along with multiple ways of validating users before letting the transaction come through. Users do need to take some precautions to ensure that their digital wallet never gets impacted – like not sharing OTPs, ensuring passwords are not simple to crack, etc. I will soon share ways to ensure your online transactions are secure.
Great! But should I use only 1 digital wallet?
Not at all. There is a reason we are creating a post for Top 10 Digital Wallets. To make the most of all the offers and rewards available, you should open multiple digital wallet accounts and use whichever gives you the most benefit for a particular transaction. Do ensure you atleast are using the first 5 wallets mentioned below.
So without further delay, below is my list of the top digital wallets today based on the number of offers available and userbase. There are no official numbers available, so please understand that the ranking is based on my observations and research. Also, please note that you can install any of the wallets by clicking the links. Some of their are affiliate links which means that I may earn some commission for referring you to the service. This helps me keep churning posts like these for my readers. So thank you!
Top 10 Digital Wallets of India in 2018
PayTM is easily the top Digital Wallet in India today. Both by brand familiarity and user adoption. They had crossed 200mn installs in early 2017 and marching towards their target of growing to 500mn users. They have the largest network of offline merchants. One can easily call them the “Whatsapp” of the digital wallet space. Anyone using digital wallets will be using them.
Whats good – Largest user and merchants base. Offers a lot of services like Buses, Flights, Recharge, Bills and even Gold shopping.
Whats bad – Slightly cluttered UI with a lot of options
MobiKwik slowly but steadily grew to become the 2nd largest digital wallet by its shear strength of user-experience and online merchant integrations. They keep growing and give a strong competition to Paytm.
Whats good – Their UI is exceptionally clean and very interactive. Faster checkout process for better user experience.
Whats bad – Their cashback in the form of Supercash which usually has a lot of restrictions. Fewer rewards/offers than PayTm.
Install MobiKwik now – User referral code FTC3MN to get Rs.100 when you add Rs.20.
PhonePe started as UPI payment app and later was acquired by Flipkart to be launched as a digital wallet for the e-commerce giant. It definitely has a lot of smart people behind the app as a first time user will find the app really easy to use. Do use them if you shop often on Flipkart and pay bills online.
Whats good – Great cashback offers on online Bill payments (electricity, DTH, water, mobile). Fast and good user-experience of the app even though they highlight a lot of services.
Whats bad – Online and offline merchant integration is lower than others.
Freecharge is a great story in the Digital Wallet world due to the transformation journey it has travelled. What started as a service to provide physical coupons for online mobile recharges over years got bought over by Snapdeal and also pivoted to a complete digital payments platform. However, even with a young and fresh branding, they never could capture a user’s imagination like others. This wallet always feels like an afterthought when making online transactions. But its still a great app to have for transactions and offers.
Whats good – Quick and simple payment process. Immediate cashback on transactions.
Whats bad – Fewer merchant integrations though present with major online players. Low adoption for peer-to-peer.
Checkout FreeCharge now – Use referral code RUI750B for additional cashback while installing.
5. Airtel Money
Airtel Money easily has one of the largest user bases. However, most of the transactions on the platform is limited to Airtel bill payments for mobile, broadband and other services. You can absolutely use it for online transactions like others but most users do not.
Whats good – A must-have if you are an Airtel user for their range of exclusive offers.
Whats bad – Integrated as an Airtel service and more focused on Airtel specific benefits.
JioMoney like airtel happens to be available for a large user base due to sheer VOIP revolution Jio is driving in the country. They still have a long way to go in terms of integrations and offers.
Whats good – No registration required for Jio users. So get it if you have a Jio sim.
Whats bad – Not a great UI. Miles behind in online and offline merchant integrations.
7. Ola Money
Ola Money which is the payment wallet offered along with the OLA cab booking app has a large user adoption due it being one of the market leaders in the mobility space. However, most people use it for paying Ola bills or keeping money for cab rides.
Whats good – Makes it easy and quick to pay for OLA cab rides, share passes, clearing ola credit.
Whats bad – Not used much outside of the OLA app. There is a separate OLA Money app but not really needed.
If you have never used OLA, click here to install and use CG4W9F as referral code for free rides. Otherwise just check your OLA app.
8. Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is one of the newest entrants in this space and grown quickly piggy-backing on the popularity of the Amazon e-commerce platform. Like PhonePe this wallet is a must-try if you use Amazon for shopping.
Whats good – Decent cashback offers across popular platforms like Amazon, BookMyShow, AbhiBus, etc
Whats bad – Still small but growing in merchant integrations. Almost zero offline presence.
Install Amazon Pay now – Use it inside your Amazon account
9. Buddy by SBI
Digital wallet by SBI Bank which happens to be the largest bank in the country in user count. They are great for payments and transfers. This wallet is also available to users without an SBI account which makes it easy to register.
Whats good – Great for SBI Bank users. Supports 13 languages.
Whats bad – Zero offline presence and slightly dated app UI.
This digital wallet is by HDFC bank which like SBI is a major player. They focus on simplified one-click payments which makes using it extremely simple.
Whats good – Great for repeated transactions like bill payments. Add your card once and it will take care of the transactions.
Whats bad – Better for HDFC customers.
Hope you found this post helpful. Please share in comments which is your favorite digital wallet.