Ever since Prime Minister Modi declared demonetization in India, the country has been rapidly ushering in flexible alternative payment methods. As India seeks to follow suit with the rest of the world and adopt a more cashless society and economy, e-wallets have emerged as a credible contender to oversee the cashless transition.

E-wallets can connect to conventional payment methods like debit and credit cards, whilst making transactions swift and convenient on smartphones and desktops. E-wallets also provide an important layer of protection between your bank accounts and the prying eyes of cyber-criminals. If you are yet to create your first e-wallet account, we’ve got four recommended e-wallet providers currently serving the Indian consumer market.

You might be surprised to find that PayPal is not one of the listed e-wallets that are compatible for Indian consumers. Earlier this year, PayPal opted to close its domestic business throughout India, with domestic payment services halted for India-based accounts from 1st April 2021. PayPal had struggled to make inroads in the Indian consumer market, and its thriving position in the US – the world’s largest internet market – saw it take a commercial decision to leave India.

In the US, PayPal is offering interest-free ‘Buy now, pay later’ services to its wallet holders, enabling them to split online payments over four monthly payments. Payments can also be made using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. That’s on top of online services that have been a staple of PayPal wallets. These include on-demand subscription portals like Netflix and Disney+ and deposits into the iGaming industry, with US poker sites including it as an essential payment method to move funds faster and just as securely as e-checks and wire transfers.

Paytm

Paytm has been in operation since 2009 but the country’s more recent focus on demonetization since late 2016 has ramped up its active user base. More than 300 million consumers now utilize their Paytm e-wallets, which can enable immediate mobile and online payments via stores and e-commerce platforms. It’s also possible to connect utility bill payments through a Paytm e-wallet and secure buy now, pay later arrangements through ‘Paytm Postpaid’.

MobiKwik

MobiKwik was formed in the same year as Paytm and quickly became a rival provider of digital and mobile wallets. MobiKwik mobile wallets are compatible with 250,000+ retailers throughout India, with many brands partnered with MobiKwik to offer cashback and discount rewards to wallet holders. Utility bills like phone, broadband, gas and electricity can be paid instantly via MobiKwik accounts too – and even personal loans.

Amazon Pay

In 2017, Amazon Pay was unveiled to the Indian consumer market. Amazon Pay is another e-wallet and mobile wallet that allows users to buy from land-based retailers and take full advantage of the cashback and discounts up for grabs on Amazon. Amazon Pay’s recent partnership with Zest Money has also made it possible for Indian consumers to enter buy now, pay later agreements via affordable monthly instalments.

Yono SBI

The State Bank of India (SBI) got in on the act with the launch of the Yono wallet, allowing wallet holders to send and receive funds, cover bills and recharges, whilst pay for travel, entertainment and retail. Yono SBI is also open to consumers without a conventional SBI bank account. Its mobile wallet can be accessed in up to 13 languages too.

A notable mention should also go to PhonePe, which also offers coverage for all kinds of utility bills, as well as online and offline payments. Customers can also invest in insurance plans and mutual funds with PhonePe accounts. It’s even possible to recharge your phone in a few easy steps.

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