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New power to e-wallets


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Eleven years ago, Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd entered the market, gaining expertise in the digital business of micro-payments of services and remittances. But today, it is known more for one of its most recent offerings, the Oxigen Wallet, which has grown to become one of India’s biggest non-bank mobile wallets with over 13 million users in less than three years.


Recently, Oxigen signed Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador in the run-up to sponsoring the South African Twenty-20 cricket team. It also launched a campaign for the Oxigen Wallet app, asking people to play host to the Proteas. Talking about the strategy behind this campaign, Meher Sarid, President, Corporate Affairs, HR, Brand & Marketing, Oxigen Services India Pvt. Ltd, says, “We wanted to do something different and considering that our joint venture partner company is a South African firm, we decided to work with the South African cricket team. We brainstormed for a cause on why people should come together to play host for the cricketers. At that time, there were a lot of untoward incidents involving foreign nationals in India. We thought we need to tell everyone that we are a friendly country and people here believe in the value of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ So, we devised an entire marketing campaign around taking South African cricketers to Indian homes as guests.”


It was a 360-degree campaign which included Print, Television, online, social and activations through  Facebook, Twitter and Radio. Elaborating on the campaign, Sarid says, “We asked people to enter a contest to find out what they think are the personal favourites of these cricketers. We held four Tea20 i.e., ‘Ghar pe Chai’ parties where 20 winners per location were called and given a chance to meet and interact with the cricketers. The videos of these interactions are available on YouTube. One lucky winner from Bangalore had the opportunity to host the cricket team at his home on Diwali day. When we rolled out the campaign, we had around 2,00,000 consumers registering for the app within the first two weeks. The response came from across India.”


The Oxigen wallet, launched in 2013 in the B2C space, is a fairly new service in the umbrella of Oxigen Services which has clocked 11 years now. Talking about whether they face a threat from e-commerce sites like Snapdeal which allow only particular wallets to be used on their website, Sarid says, “I don’t understand how that will work for them. For a consumer, the entire system needs to be inter-operable. He won’t download 10 different wallets to shop; he wants one wallet which will get him everything. In a month’s time, we are launching a unique proposition which will cut across the need for anyone to use any other wallet. It is a prepaid virtual card on your mobile which can be generated using the Oxigen wallet. This virtual Visa card is generated on your mobile phone for the amount you intend to shop for and can be used on any site which allows credit and debit card usage option. The card can be generated for any amount, the moment the balance on your card expires, the card expires. This makes our service usable across all portals in India.”


With the multitude of apps across the spectrum, everyone is struggling for the limited space on the customer’s smartphone. Talking about how Oxigen fares in this race, Sarid says, “What we have seen from general Google analytics is that our wallet has the lowest uninstall rate. All our activations have had the highest engagement ratings. We are not just interested in getting someone to download our app but in engaging our customers.”


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