Excl: Infibeam.com launches digital wallet; A precursor of things to come
Ahmedabad-based e-commerce firm Infibeam.com has launched a 'Wallet' for its site. The wallet was launched yesterday and it basically works like a prepaid account that allows users to shop on the site without having to use a card or net banking for making payments every time. For doing so, users will first have to preload the wallet with money, post which they can choose the wallet as a mode of payment and the amount they have shopped for will be deducted from their wallet's balance amount.
For using the wallet, users will have to log-in to their existing Infibeam account (or sign up for a new account) and visit the 'wallet page'. Once there, you can enter the desired amount you would like to add in your wallet and then click on 'top up'- the same check out process will be followed (like while shopping) and the amount will be charged from the user's debit/credit card or net banking.
Once the amount is added, users can start using the wallet for making purchases and if the wallet is depleted, they can top up again by following the same process.
Note that the maximum amount with which the wallet at Infibeam.com can be pre-loaded with is Rs 5,000 and users cannot transfer their wallet balance to other users. At any point, users can visit the wallet page to check their remaining balance and if by chance the balance in their wallet is lesser than the amount payable (for a purchase they are making), users can still make part payment using the balance in their wallet and the remaining amount can be paid using any of the regular payment options.
Also, while the wallet Balance (the pre-paid balance credited into the wallet via the user's credit/debit card or net banking) is non- refundable, credit from Infibeam.com store (the balance that has been credited by the site against a cancelled order) is completely refundable. And since there is no expiry date for the balance in a user's wallet, they don't have to worry about losing their money after a point in time.
Benefits and limitation
The obvious benefits of using a wallet are that you can shop numerous times without having to enter card/net banking details each time, the check-out process is faster and there is no chance of a failed transaction. However, the fact that the wallet has a Rs 5,000 limit means that it can be primarily used for purchases of smaller denominations.
This also means that the addition of the wallet is a pre-cursor of things to come, since wallets are usually associated with micropayments, as it is a pain to use the regular payment options for small denominations. So is there a chance that the company is planning to introduce e-book or music downloads to the mix? Guess we will have to wait and watch. But keep track of this space for more dope on the same.
Uptake of Wallet
The concept of a pre-paid wallet has been gaining favour among online players in the recent times. Last month, Ashish Hemrajani, founder and CEO of BookMyShow, a movie and event ticket booking site, had told Techcircle.in about the company's plans to come out with its own online wallet to ease the micropayment woes of its customers.
"The wallet would act as a parking place for money which can simply be stored (and topped up) and used as per one's requirement. The technology is ready and the service should come out soon," he had said at the time.
In addition, Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart already offers its own 'wallet' that enables its users to make micropayments required while buying tracks and albums that are priced as low as Rs 6 at its digital music store Flyte.