Online Market

Future of Recharge Industry in India

It was few years back when Indian homes had a limited set of phones. It was a revolution when in August 1995 the first Mobile telephonic conversation happened between West Bengal’s the then Chief Minister Shri Jyoti Basu and the then Union Telecom Minister Shri Sukhram. This was a revolution in India and today each household with a family member of 4 has minimum 2 handsets. The handsets are either low end to high end smart phones like iPhone or Android OS.

Mobile phones are enabled with services from Mobile operators. Mobile operators are the service providers which enable a customer to activate the SIM card to talk, SMS and even surf the Internet. Mobile operators like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, MTNL and BSNL have come a long way in increasing the subscriber base, revenue share and to an extent increasing the mobile phone users in India. Not only urban but rural India has also seen in growth of Mobile phone users. The total mobile phone users in India has grown to 930 million which is around 73% of the total population.

Due to the vast customer base and daily activation of mobile operators, it has resulted in a huge market for recharge industry a state-of -the –art business model which enables hundreds and thousands of retailers to earn and enjoy the business that too just sending an SMS or just clicking the mouse button.

This business of recharges is not restricted to Mobile Operators but to all DTH giants like TATA Sky, BIG TV, DISH TV, Videocon D2H, SUN Direct DTH and Airtel DTH. People can also pay their utility bills, credit cards, travel ticket booking and can do money remittance.

The credit for enabling such a high end and real time payment goes to companies like EPRS, Euronet ,Cyberplat ,Bill Desk, Bill Junction,ITZ and Oxigen. The first concept of real time payment came in the minds of pioneers of these companies. It was EPRS which started the first inventory less payment system using e-pins or Electronic Voucher Dispense. The Paper voucher market which was used by all the Mobile as well as DTH industry was very unsecured and a hectic work which was maintained by Distributors and retailers of these DTH/Mobile Operators. But as soon as e-pins started to penetrate in the market, the business also took a huge leap.

Then came the flexi top up system which enabled a retailer to directly top up a customer account without any hassle. Today the market share for paper voucher has gone down to mere 1% while the e-pin share the market for 5% and remaining giant share of 95% by flexible top up system or flexi top up.

The distributors and retailers are finding the way of using the virtual money more friendly then maintaining physical card vouchers. The payment technology in India has come a long way from just server based to cloud computing. This enables a retail store to send an SMS, Use web based, Mobile web (GPRS) or an Android app to do a payment when a customer walks in to the store. The payment technology companies are providing SAAS to these retailers and distributors reducing the capex and resulting in enhancement of business. The USP of using such services is the transparency in the revenue generation The payment technology in India has come a long way from mobile and DTH payments to flight booking and money remittance. The ARPU (Average Revenue per User) or the ATS (Average Ticket Size) for mobile operators is around Rs.130/- which makes a total revenue of Rs.12000 Crore. While ARPU or ATS of DTH industry is around Rs.220 which makes a total business of Rs.11000 Crore. The total recharges which happens from all the Payment technology companies is only 1/8 the of the total revenue shared. While the major share are with these direct operators.

Today not only distributors and retailers but end –users are also using the payment gateways to recharge their accounts. Web sites like,, etc. have also come up with this concept for end users enabling a higher rate of customer flow in to these websites.

PSU and Non PSU banks too, have enabled the same concept through internet banking, enabling the customers to recharge their DTH account or mobile number or pay utility bills. Banks have found the essence in this business concept and have implemented it in their UI. Hence, very beneficial for, customers who want to avoid queues and for banks, to earn some extra profit.

Companies like ITZ an Essel group company have come up with a concept of card payment. This card can be also used for withdrawing money from ATMs, travel bookings and other day to day services. It has an approval from RBI which makes this card as a multi utility card and will be helpful for people staying in rural areas. As per a survey carried out from McKinsey the total payment industry will grow by US $ 45 Billion by 2016. This business opportunity is 7.8 times more than developed countries like the US, UK. This industry has a huge potential in the near future. A very smart business model will enable hundreds and thousands of job opportunities and a very high economic forecast will enable the GDP growth of India to reach new heights.

Online Market

Online 5% OF Total Offline Mobile Recharge Market Worth INR 100,000 Cr.; Paytm Leads with 30% Market Share

Paytm started by offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments and today it offers a full marketplace to consumers on its mobile apps. In a short span of time Paytm has scaled to over 7 Mn orders a month. The mobile commerce marketplace that it had launched earlier this year, brings over 250 merchants with over 1,00,000 items for users on one mobile platform.

We caught with Deepak Abbot, AVP, Paytm for quick chat on the current market size of online recharge in India, how is Paytm’s recently launched mobile only marketplace is doing and his views on mobile commerce. Inc42: Online recharge is a booming market. Please walk us through the market size of online recharge in India and globally. Also share some stats on Indian players in this domain and Paytm’s position? Deepak: Overall mobile recharge market (offline) is about 100,000 crores annually. 5% of this is happening online. Online mobile recharge is provided by aggregators like Paytm, Banks Websites & Operator’s own website. Paytm commands 30% overall market-share for online recharges.

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