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PhonePe leads in functionality, user experience in India: Report

New Delhi: Digital payments platform PhonePe that has crossed 5 billion transactions, is leading on both functionality and user experience (UX) front among the key payment apps in India, a new report said on Wednesday.

PhonePe led the pack of eight digital payments apps -- Axis Pay (from Axis Bank), BHIM, Google Pay, Mobikwik, PayZapp (from HDFC Bank), Paytm, PhonePe, and Pockets (from ICICI Bank) -- with leading on both parameters, revealed global market research firm Forrester.

"PhonePe's users can make one-time and future-dated person-to-person (P2P), person-to-merchant (P2M), and citizen-to-government (C2G) payments via a QR code or the recipient's mobile number or bank details," Forrester analyst Arnav Gupta told IANS.

"Its broad and deep digital ecosystem enable customers to obtain services, buy products, pay utility bills, and save money with offers and discounts embedded in payment task flows. PhonePe also offers a competent UX," he added.

Bengaluru-headquartered PhonePe currently has over 175 million registered users in the country. It is accepted as a payment option across 80 lakh MSMEs in over 215 cities in India and over 56 per cent of its transactions are now driven by users in Tier II and III cities.

Forrester found that PhonePe does a good job of ensuring that customers don't commit errors, and that they can recover if they do make a mistake.

"If customers undo an action, the information is not lost. PhonePe is the only app to provide context-specific text guidance within task flows. The app is stable and is free of technical glitches," they mentioned.

To find out how effectively payment apps are meeting customer expectations in India, Forrester reviewed the functionality and user experience (UX) of eight Indian payment apps.

The team found that Paytm also does well in both functionality and user experience. Its comprehensive app allows users to obtain financial products and services, shop for products, pay for citizen services, plan travel, book event and entertainment tickets and order food.

"It integrates discounts and offers into payment task flows to drive loyalty and engagement. On the UX front, the app places commonly used tasks up front; uses good design so customers know which elements are interactive; uses clear language for payments so customers don't get confused; and provides useful error messages," explained Amit Bhatia, another Forrester analyst.

The other apps evaluated only performed well in just either functionality or UX. Google Pay, Mobikwik, and Pockets offer competitive functionality while PayZapp, Axis Pay and BHIM have reasonable user experiences, said the report.

With WhatsApp Pay soon arriving in India, Gupta said that as of now, WhatsApp's whole proposition is based on the user experience and its large customer base.

"Players like PhonePe, Paytm and Google need to be committed to offering superior digital experience and keep enhancing it. The customer and merchant network is something they'll continue building over time," Gupta told IANS.

The existing digital payments app need to rethink the whole loyalty and rewards play game.

"Google Pay's simple yet effect loyalty programme has clearly seen success. Right now, all payments players are in an acquisition mode but soon, they'll have to offer compelling reasons for merchants to stay and engage with them," he emphasized.

Customer expectations are rising in India as established banks, new digital banks, payments firms, and tech vendors introduce more compelling digital customer experiences on their mobile apps.

This makes it crucial to focus payment apps on customer outcomes and find ways to make customer journeys as easy as possible. While most Indian apps offer strong payment capabilities, few implement payments well, said the analysts.

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