Mobikwik and Paytm Target Commuters; UnionPay App Spars with Alibaba and Tencent: News Roundup

Malaysia is going mobile while Mobikwik and Paytm are targeting commuters. UnionPay spars with Alibaba and Tencent in mobile fight and HealthiPASS raised $7.2 million for expansion efforts.

Here’s your weekly news roundup!

HealthiPASS has raised $7.2 million in funding for further innovations to its payments platform, according to an article posted by HIT consultant. The Chicago-based healthcare payments company, founded in 2013, touts itself as a digital check-in and patient payments platform that aims to enhance transparency it says is often lacking with the traditional healthcare payments process.

With HealthiPASS, patients can check in at participating practices via QR code or PASS scan, or with a swipe of their credit/debit card. The system will then process the payment and provide relevant information to the patient. This includes a cost-of-care estimate that takes into account any relevant insurance carrier coverage.

The same article quotes HealthiPASS CEO Rajesh Voddiraju as detailing how the product empowers participating practices to “give patients greater clarity and transparency into their financial responsibilities, which results in higher patient satisfaction and loyalty.”

Malaysia is going mobile. According to, data compiled from the country’s three major online marketplaces credits mobile commerce with 70% of online sales for Single’s Day and MyCyber (two public events often used to measure online commerce). The article touts Malaysian people’s love for mobile commerce as one contributing factor – another being that several of the country’s banks are looking to advance the use of QR code wallets so that payments can be done even more efficiently.

Also creating a pull towards mobile commerce are the providers infiltrating the Malaysian marketplace that are making mobile such an easy payment option to integrate into the ecosystem, the article said. iPay88 (a leading regional payment gateway in Southeast Asia) executive director and co-founder Chan Kok Long speaks about WeChat Pay and Alipay specifically.

He explains that “although Alipay is new in Malaysia, the growth potential is tremendous because of the increasing Chinese tourists.” And regarding WeChat Pay, the article states that Chan “sees great potential” from the payments app (slated to be introduced to the marketplace next year) with 600 million active users in China and 20 million in Malaysia alone.

UnionPay QuickPass app spars with Alibaba and Tencent in fight to dominate mobile payments. According to South China Morning Post, the introduction of China UnionPay’s QuickPass (recently reported on here) challenges ecommerce companies Tencent and Alibaba who currently connect users and banks directly – meaning there is no need for supervision from the central bank or routing assistance through China UnionPay.

“Before the digital era, all payments went through the UnionPay system with banks and UnionPay splitting the transaction fees paid by merchants,” Ba Shusong, chief economist at the China Banking Association explains via the same article. Digital companies such as Alibaba and Tencent threaten this model. So who will win the fight and dominate mobile?

The same article quotes Li Chao, iResearch analyst, as saying “in the end it will all come down to each party’s ability to draw users to their own bank-merchant-consumer ecosystem, which in the end is only good for consumers.”

Commuters are going cashless and payment providers like Paytm and Mobikwik are benefiting. According to an article published by The Economic Times, bus rides, metro lifts and toll-plaza ticketing are three services that are up-and-coming in the cashless sector.

The same article reports the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has joined forces with supporting banks and highway authorities to digitize tolls while Paytm, Mobikwik and ticketing app Ridlr are promoting the move towards cashless for bus tickets and daily metro traffic.

The article quotes Paytm COO Kiran Vasireddy regarding the company’s approach to courting this market segment. He says “commuters can recharge their metro cards through Paytm on the go. They can also pay for their tickets by scanning the Paytm QR at the metro counters directly, at the metro operator’s website, or on the app. We have also enabled buying digital metro tickets on our platform.”

Due to a recent Aadhaar data breach, Indian consumers are reluctant to use their Aadhaar number when accessing ecommerce accounts or digital wallets. Used by many companies (including Airbnb and Uber) as a safety measure to verify identity at the point of purchase, this 12-digit number is assigned at random as a unique identity for residents of India. A recent security compromise reported on by MirrorNow, however, may have left consumers worried when it comes to linking their online payment accounts with their Aadhaar number. reported on security issues with Aadhaar earlier this year.

A survey conducted by LocalCircles asked if citizens would feel comfortable linking their Aadhaar number with their ecommerce site accounts. 61% said they would not be comfortable. And when asked about linking it to their payment wallet, 49% refused, 33% agreed and 18% were neutral.