Domestic mobile wallet player MobiKwik on Tuesday said it was partnering with e-commerce platform connector StoreKing to expand its cashless model of payment to 10,000 retail stores in 600 small towns and 5,000 villages across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.
"This partnership will benefit 10 million rural users who will now be able to make payments via the MobiKwik mobile wallet in these 10,000 retail stores, as well as make payments for online purchases on the StoreKing e-commerce platform," MobiKwik said in a statement.
StoreKing is an assisted e-commerce platform that partners with a network of kirana stores in rural areas to establish a tablet-based wireless Internet-connected point-of-sale terminal.
"This partnership aims to bring the convenience and success of e-commerce model to rural India and is significant in enabling financial inclusion," the company said.
The 10,000 retail stores will be trained to help rural users download the MobiKwik mobile app and add cash to it to buy goods.
Tablet-based terminals will provide access to StoreKing's e-commerce platform.
Announcing the collaboration, MobiKwik founder CEO Bipin Preet Singh said: "Rural Indians no longer have to wait for banks to reach them, to open an account or to transact. They just need to download our app to kickstart their digital payments journey."
"Both the companies, MobiKwik and StoreKing will also provide free Wi-Fi connections at the stores to enable users to download the MobiKwik app on their phone. Besides paying for goods at the store, users can also use the wallet for mobile recharges, phone bill payments, DTH recharges and money transfer to other MobiKwik users," he added.
Also, a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) states that the number of rural e-commerce Internet users is growing by 58 percent annually, fuelled by the increase in the number of smartphones and 3G subscriptions.
"As we continue to work in collaboration with retailers and merchants of all sizes, MobiKwik's mobile application will increasingly be seen as a destination for users to browse local businesses, order ahead, and transact at point-of-sale," Bipin Singh said.
MobiKwik aspires to be the largest source of digital transactions in India. The company had earlier said that its goal is to power $5 billion (roughly Rs. 32,667 crores) in payments between 150 million users and 500,000 retailers. MobiKwik has also applied to RBI for a Payments Bank licence in February 2015.