Semi-urban & rural India have huge untapped markets for e-wallet: VP, Balance Hero India

Sean Ryu, VP, Balance Hero India, talks about the company's marketing strategy for its e-wallet True Balance

e4m by Apeksha Mishra
Updated: Aug 17, 2018 8:52 AM

True Balance, a new-entrant to the burgeoning e-wallet market in India, is focusing on driving growth from the rural market in India. In an interview with exchange4media, Sean Ryu, Vice President, Balance Hero India, reveals how the company's mobile wallet app is reaching out to the rural masses to increase adoption and making the dream of a rural cashless economy a reality.

Speaking about their marketing strategy, Ryu said, “We have a very different target audience area to cover, something that our competitors do not much engage with. Our products such as micro loans for utility services cater to the needs of people living in rural India.”

“We are working towards establishing a digitised economy and our major competitor is cash. The market we cater to is very different from what competition does. There is a huge untapped market in semi-urban and rural India and we aim to build features for our audience based mainly out of these areas.”

Reaching to consumers in semi-urban and rural areas, however, is a tough task for any player. Hence, we asked Ryu about the marketing strategy they have adopted to penetrate into the rural population.

Explaining their game plan, he said, “True Balance drives adoption in rural areas with a referral marketing initiative. For a business like ours, it is very difficult to keep acquiring new users. Hence, this year, our focus is on the referral marketing mode as we venture into micro-loans. The member-get-member programme helps a user refer his friend, and this way, those unaware, get to about know us and use our mobile wallet. We have so far recorded an increase of 30-40% in the user acquisition rates with our referral marketing. In today’s market, trust is the key which can only be created with peer to peer effect.”

Speaking about the impact of language barriers while engaging with rural India, Ryu said, “True Balance has invested in creating videos in six local languages on how to use our mobile wallet. This year, we will interact and engage with the current set of users in order to create higher transactions from them.”

Commenting on the app’s prime functionality that could help draw a customer’s attention, he said, "The most important functionality that speaks in our favour is our ‘loyalty programme’, wherein a customer who recharges his account with Rs 500 gets to become a 'gold member’. A gold member can then avail more cash-backs. This gives our customer a reason to come back."

When asked about the challenges that the e-wallet firm faces while interacting with its target audience in rural India, Ryu said, “Providing loans and feeding personal data into your mobile wallets are the two main services that bear high regulatory standards. We need to make sure that we secure user data, infrastructure and user information."

“At this juncture, while we set up more teams across India, our current resources complying with the regulations turns out to be tough. We can extend our business much faster once we have information on full KYC. However, working under the guidelines of RBI is a must for all and we are no exception.”

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