Bengaluru-based unicorn Ola’s financial arm Ola Money has partnered with a rewards-based payment company TWID which will allow the cab-hailer’s customers to use their wallet balance—otherwise lying unused—on TWID’s platform for purchases and other transactions.
Just five-months-old payments startup TWID aggregates all the royalty and reward points given by banks, retail stores, multiple online platforms, among many other businesses at one place for its users to utilize these accumulated reward points by making payments at the leading online as well as offline platforms.
“The partnership we have with merchants is what makes our solution brilliant. It solves everyone’s problems. For example, an Ola user who has INR 1,000 (USD 14) lying in their Ola Money wallet can use it at our merchant partners such as Woodland, Bata, among many other,” Rishi Batra, co-founder and COO of TWID, told KrASIA.
Founded by Amit Koshal, Amit Sharma, and Batra, the company recently raised USD 1.4 million in its Seed round from SCV LLC, a family-owned business of tech entrepreneurs. Batra said the company has partnered with over 70,000 offline merchants across categories including, food and beverage, retail, fashion, among others. In the first year of its operation the company wants to partner with over 300,000 merchants where users can redeem their loyalty points for transactions.
“This association is a significant step towards creating a holistic digital payments ecosystem that enables effortless purchases at TWID’s partner brands through both Ola Money wallet and Ola Money Postpaid balance. Ola Money users can have extensive options to use Ola Money along with the consolidated rewards the consumer has,” said Prateek Jindal, business head, Ola Financial Services.
The process of redeeming the loyalty points that customers get from various online and offline platforms is cumbersome and broken. Not many users take the pain and effort to utilize these points as they are distributed over different platforms and seem small on a stand-alone basis, but collectively can be a significant amount of money. According to TWID, reward points worth over USD 2 billion go unused by users in India and this is the problem that the company wants to solve.
Seeing the opportunity in this space strategic partnerships and investment in this space has increased in the last few months. The global online travel platform Cleartrip partnered with Payback India that would enable users to redeem their existing Payback points on every booking made with Cleartrip. Earlier this month, Flipkart invested an undisclosed amount of money in an eight-year-old customer engagement and rewards platform EasyRewardz to boost its product development and global expansion plans. The Walmart-owned e-commerce platform has its own loyalty program called SuperCoins where it allows users to earn and redeem reward points at its multiple partner platforms.
Recently, to cut its losses, fintech giant Paytm has almost stopped giving cashbacks and has instead resorted to giving ‘Paytm Loyalty Points’ that can be redeemed while transacting on its partner platforms. In fact, its marketplace platform Paytm Mall has reportedly reduced cahsbacks by 80% across categories.