Ride-hailing Service Ola Spins Off Payment App With Additional Features

India is a breeding ground for technical innovation, and more particularly in the financial sector. Even though there are big banks in India, very few people seem to have access to a bank account or credit card these days. Mobile payments are on the rise, and more and more companies are spinning off their payment options as stand-alone apps. Ola is the latest company to do so, and it could shake up things quite a bit in the country.

Ride-Hailing App Ola Spins Off Payment Wallet

More and more countries around the world are seeing an influx of ride-hailing services these days. Major names like Uber and Lyft are breaking ground all over the globe, despite heavy resistance from government officials. But in India, there seems to be less oppression to locally-run solutions, such as Ola. In fact, Ola is India’s top ride-hailing application, and spinning off their ride payment wallet — called Ola Money — seems to be quite a bold move. That being said, with 40 million users, Ola can take a small gamble on turning Ola Money into a standalone application, as most of their user base will keep using the service.

But there is a twist to Ola Money, as it can be used for more than just paying for rides. Customers will also be able to use this standalone application for specific online shopping sites, which includes money transfers and mobile top-ups across all operators. The list of supported merchants includes Saavn, Lenskart, TinyOwl, and OYO Rooms, to name a few.

Before the spinoff, Ola Money had already been the most popular payment method on the Ola app, despite offering alternative methods of payment as well. The main selling point of Ola Money is how it doesn’t require consumers to provide additional authentication, as all they need are their Ola credentials to complete the payment.

But there is more, as Ola has announced future plans for Ola Money in a recent press release. In the not-so-distant future, Ola Money users will be able to pay utility bills — both online and offline — with the application. Offering this type of functionality will further solidify Ola’s status as one of India’s leading wallets.

Ola CEO & Co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal stated:

“The launch of the Ola Money app is a big step towards simplifying payments for users across a wide range of products and services they use every day! Ola Money has seen tremendous acceptance over the last three months, from the time we opened it up for third party merchants. We continue to add more merchants and build many more use cases with Ola Money, making it a seamless experience for users. With the app enabling users to do a lot more including mobile recharges and money transfers, we are excited about the possibilities that Ola Money brings for the millions who are beginning to prefer an easy to use mobile payment solution!”

A Sign of Things To Come For The Future

There is no denying that mobile payments will start playing an ever-increasing role of importance in our society. More and more service providers might turn towards the idea of spinning off a separate payment application for their customers. It will be interesting to see how Ola will fare with their Ola Money application.

Storing consumer data will be critical to the success of these mobile wallet applications. Ola has taken the necessary steps to store all data in a secure and encrypted environment. For the time being, Ola Money is only available to Android users, although versions for iOS and Windows mobile users is coming soon.

Source: Press Release via Email

Header image courtesy of Ola

Originally published at Fintechist.

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