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India M-Wallet Streamlines Bank Transfers

One97’s mobile wallet payment service Paytm, an India-based and Alibaba-backed service, has launched a feature in its mobile wallet that will allows its customers a more streamlined bank transfer process.

The new feature allows for those mobile wallet users to use the service to transfer funds from the mobile wallets to bank accounts, TechCrunch reported. The mobile wallet scene in India has been rapidly expanding, in large part because of the fact that credit cards aren’t popular in the region, nor is using banks. According to TechCrunch, India has just 450 million bank accounts, with many of those being inactive.

Instead, mobile wallets in the region are suspected to be more popular due to their ability to always have access to the funds, without having to use a card or having to go to the bank. But that may change as this new addition to the Paytm mobile wallet that enables bank transfers, which may help boost the active bank accounts in India.

According to TechCrunch, here is how the Immediate Payment Service bank transfer works: users can transfer up to 5,000 INR ($80) a day and up to 25,000 INR ($400) a month. Transactions can not be lower than 1,000 INR ($16) and users must have 2,000 INR ($32) in their bank accounts.

Ant Financial, an affiliate of the Alibaba Group, announced Feb. 5 that it would take a 25 percent stake in Indian mobile payments company One97. This move appears to line up with Jack Ma’s vision of getting Alibaba more involved in India, which is the largest consumer base for his company after China.

This investment by Ant Financial, which was spun off from Alibaba in 2011, though Ma still owns a stake in the company, is the first one in India for the Alibaba Group. One97 is the Indian company that owns Paytm, an Indian mobile payment platform similar to Alipay, though with only 23 million users compared to Alipay Wallet’s 190 million.

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