FreeCharge Forays Into Electricity Bill Payments

FreeCharge Forays Into Electricity Bill Payments

Snapdeal-owned mobile transactions platform FreeCharge announced the launch of electricity bill payment feature on Monday, adding eight major electricity boards covering metro markets in India. The company is planning to expand this number to 30 in the next four weeks, and add more utility e-payment options in the coming months.

The feature is currently available on the desktop version, and will be made available on its app and mSite soon, the company said, adding that the platform supports a range of payment options - credit and debit cards, net banking, and ATM and cash cards.

The company cited a recent report that predicts a rise in e-bill payments, from 0.5 percent in 2014 to 2.7 percent in 2019.

While local electricity boards often have online payment options enabled, FreeCharge wants to make the process hassle-free and effortless. Users can pay their electricity bill with just the customer account. The site fetches their due bills instantly, allows them to pay, and automatically registers the new users with the biller. Whenever a new bill is generated, a reminder is prompted. FreeCharge provides an instant confirmation of bill payment and a follow-up with the biller to make sure everything is smooth at the back-end. The service will also send bill pay reminders helping consumers prevent late payments and the possibility of incurring late fees.

Kunal Shah, CEO and Co-Founder of FreeCharge, said that his platform contributes to an increase in online bill payments, and supports the government's vision of Digital India. "Our aim is to revolutionise the online payment space and bring in the behavioural change of organising and digitising payments in the country." He said.

FreeCharge said that it has 27 million registered users on its platform, making on average of five transactions every month, at the rate of 161 transactions per second.

According to Tracxn, the top-funded players in the mobile wallets space are Paytm, which has raised $585 million (roughly Rs. 3,822 crores) and boasts over 100 million users; Mobikwik, which has raised $30.25 million (roughly Rs. 197 crores); PayMate, which has raised $14 million (roughly Rs. 91 crores); MoneyOnMobile, which has raised $10 million (roughly Rs. 65 crores), and CitrusPay, which raised $7.5 million (roughly Rs. 48 crores).

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