Ola, India’s largest cab-hailing service, said on Monday that Ola Money, a personal “wallet”, can now be used to pay for services on other e-commerce platforms as well.
Ola, promoted by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has been expanding into new businesses to match its larger rival Uber Technologies Inc. Customers can use Ola Money to pay for cab rides booked through Ola.
The firm said in a statement that it has around 20 million customers and is already one of the top three mobile wallets in the country, adding that the digital payment solution enlarges the scope of its wallet.
The new offering— Ola claims to have an average wallet balance size of Rs.1,000—is co-branded with its existing payments technology provider ZipCash Card Services Pvt. Ltd.
Ola has partnered with OYO Rooms and is looking to partner with other merchants such as Lenskart and Saavn, the firm said. OYO, which raised $100 million from Japan’s Softbank, already has an existing partnership with online wallet Paytm.
The Reserve Bank of India had approved banking licences to online payments platform Paytm, which is promoted by One97 Communications Ltd.
The partnership with OYO could be in the interest of investors, according to Nitin Agarwal of Equirus Capital, a full-service investment bank. Both Ola and OYO are backed by Softbank and Sequoia, among others, while Paytm is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The company currently uses payments technology through PayU and ZipCash Card Services Pvt. Ltd. Agarwal said that many e-commerce players were looking at extending wallet options—many already have multiple partnerships with different online wallets. “It does not make any difference to the company as its brand is marketed by the wallet,” Agarwal said.
“Ola Money was built to create a seamless payment experience for every request on our platform and is the most preferred mode of payment by a majority of our users today. By taking this experience to more merchants, we are enabling our users to do more with Ola Money and helping merchants gain access to one of the most convenient payment experiences we know of today,” Rushil Goel, head of Ola Money, said in a statement.
The company has launched delivery services such as Ola Cafe and Ola Store as well as an exclusive mobile phone for its customers. The company is looking to start bus services as well. Ola has raised over $700 million from venture capitalist firms so far.
“Ola Money, we think is an important aspect of this seamlessness and extending it to be used as a payment solution on platforms like ours will give users more choice and convenience with a wallet they are already familiar with and use everyday,” said Anurag Gaggar, vice-president, product management at OYO Rooms.