Domestic e-commerce player Snapdeal-owned wallet services firm FreeCharge on Thursday said that it was partnering with Indus OS — a forked Android operating system — to directly reach nearly 8 million smartphones.
Under the partnership, Indus OS will allow all its users to track their data and calling usage, and make payments to recharge their connections using FreeCharge Wallet.
Govind Rajan, CEO, Freecharge, said, “Contextual payments takes this a step forward with the one touch recharge interface that comes with Recharge 2.0. At present, we have collaborated for recharge payments being powered through FreeCharge on Indus OS but soon we plan to expand the scope to all kind of payment services like DTH recharges, electricity bill payments, merchant payments in both the online and offline space.”
“Additionally, the FreeCharge experience will now be available in 12 major regional languages with Indus OS which will provide us a chance to serve the regional smartphone users as well,” he added.
As per various industry estimates, it is well acknowledged that 95% of India’s mobile subscriber base comprises pre-paid connections. While a majority of prepaid users prefer data plans that have a fixed monthly charge for limited amount of data usage, an oft neglected fact is that they do not have a clear idea of how their money is getting spent.
Indus OS, which has garnered over 5 million users in just 12 months, has the second largest marketshare in India with 7.6%.
“Contextual integration of brands and products across tech platforms is the future. This is inevitable in an economy such as ours, where we are just starting to scrape the surface of OS-integrated Brands (OSIB) to address true consumer needs. So, language integration in AI based services, map integration with location based services, payment integration with utility based services, video/audio integration with communication based services, security integration with government offered services, are amongst many such possibilities that will be explored. We have been working towards this and developed success cases, for instance, the Indus Reader (Text-to-Speech feature) developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and IT,” Rakesh Deshmukh, CEO & Co-Founder, Indus OS, said.
By catering to Indus OS’ user base via the OS-Integrated Brands, FreeCharge expects to scale up its recharge transactions and volumes by nearly 20%. FreeCharge currently sees a major chunk of its transaction coming through the recharge’s category.
Secondary data indicates that a whopping 95% of mobile users are prepaid. And, a sizeable amount of 30% users are making mobile recharge by M-payments. On the hardware front, only 40% smartphones in the market are capable of online recharge.