Along with the extension of Jio’s complimentary offers up to 31st March 2017, Reliance’s chairman, Mukesh Ambani also unveiled a new digital payment app titled “Jio Money Merchants Solution”. Ambani primarily aims to empower the small businesses across the country in remote areas through this app which will essentially, allow them to accept and process payments.
The new app will be available starting from December 5th and will act as a catalyst in augmenting the cashless future India’s prime minister is envisioning, according to Mr. Ambani. Additionally, for converting physical currencies to digital, Jio will be setting up Millions of touchpoints, where Aadhaar based micro ATMs will be deployed. For other purposes such as bill payments and recharges, Jio Money will be available as well.
Furthermore, Jio has already rolled out over 200,000 eKYC enabled stores, which is actually more than the number of ATMs in India and RIL plans to reach 400,000 by March 2017. These will be also equipped with new Aadhaar-based services. This will fall in line with their roadmap for establishing various micro-ATMs and easing the entire process for the uninitiated customer.
Reliance currently isn’t particularly marketing their Jio Money service as a mobile wallet, Mukesh Ambani’s ambitious move involves a much wider retail ecosystem which is easily accessible to everyone. Incidentally, Jio also withholds a payments bank license in association with the State Bank of India. Reliance Jio’s offers have been extended to the next year’s March 31st, meaning, you’ll be able to access their entertainment as well as 4G services free of cost. You can read more about that here.
“Merchants, especially small merchants, are a very big part of the plan, and we are working with the merchants to build a digital retail ecosystem, called Jio Money Merchant ecosystem,” said Ambani. “This will be at mandis, restaurants, bus and railway tickets, and even person to person transfers. Starting 5th of December, every merchant can download this application.”
With over 50 million subscribers, Jio Money is poised to make a significant dent in the transition of India into a cashless economy, although, it remains to be seen how many of those 50 Million subscribers convert into actual paying subscribers, once the free offer ends.