Personal Finance

Should you use India’s first cinema payment wallet?

Kumar Shankar Roy | | Updated on: Apr 06, 2022
John Abraham launched INOX InstaPay wallet at INOX Megaplex Inorbit Mall, Mumbai

John Abraham launched INOX InstaPay wallet at INOX Megaplex Inorbit Mall, Mumbai

While this is a safe and contactless payment alternative, there is no incremental advantage over existing payment routes

Multiplex chain INOX Leisure has recently announced the launch of India's first cinema payment wallet – InstaPay. This can be used on INOX website, app and at box-office and concession counters to make payments for movie tickets and F&B purchases across all INOX multiplexes. But given the wide range of wallet options already available to the public, should you go for a digital cinema wallet? Here is a quick take.

InstaPay decoded

INOX InstaPay Wallet is an e-wallet for purchasing tickets and food at INOX cinemas. INOX has 160 multiplexes and 675 screens in 72 cities. You can activate, load and reload the InstaPay wallet. Depending on the channel you use for activating, you can get INOX representative's help or electronically activate it yourself. You can add an amount up to ₹5,000 (maximum) to the wallet by using debit/credit cards, net banking or through UPI.

INOX InstaPay wallet redemptions can be done at physical touchpoints or online through INOX website, app or mobile website by entering the OTP. OTP route ensures your INOX InstaPay wallet transactions are authenticated by you. INOX has said that the wallet will allow the company to roll out curated offers and experiences on the basis of a user’s consumption patterns.

Key points to remember

  • Firstly, the money added to your INOX InstaPay wallet is non-refundable. This is a negative because many wallets allow users to withdraw amounts (after deducting a withdrawal fee).
  • Card offers cannot be used with INOX InstaPay wallet transactions. Also, INOX InstaPay wallet amount cannot be transferred to other wallet’s account. Two or more INOX InstaPay wallets cannot be used for a single transaction. But, these conditions are usually standard in payment industry.
  • Do note that the money in your INOX InstaPay wallet will expire 365 days from the day it was activated. Unless you are a regular Inox cinema goer, you should use the money you load within the shelf time or risk losing the residual value.
  • Thankfully, the INOX InstaPay wallet can be deactivated and the balance amount will be refunded to the same mode of payment used to reload money. You can get the wallet deactivated either at physical touchpoints or on INOX website or app.
  • For failed transactions using INOX InstaPay wallets, the amount gets refunded within 10 working days to it, as per the company. The 10 days working limit appears longer since food delivery apps such as Swiggy instantaneously refund money back to Swiggy wallet.

Promotions

There is a one-time launch offer that can be availed by customers using INOX InstaPay for the first time. Customers adding ₹1,000-1,499 to their wallet will receive a voucher worth ₹50. Customers adding ₹1,500-1,999 to their wallet will receive a voucher worth ₹100. Customers adding ₹2,000-5,000 to their wallet will receive a voucher worth ₹150. Details on how to use the voucher are not immediately available.

Promotions are designed to attract customers. Different wallets have in the past used promotional offers to add customers. Do remember that you will be required to spend money i.e. add money to wallet to get those vouchers.

Our take

Post Covid, wallet usage has been advocated on account of wallets making consumer experience quick, safe and contactless. These are important advantages.

However, on the flipside, there are some practical points to consider too. Wallet usage is dependent on good mobile network since the redemptions are OTP centric. The quality of mobile network in many places is not as good as you would want and hence you can face problems/delays while using the wallet.

Right now, the wallet serves as a payment channel for the customer, while for the company it allows them to get access to float i.e. the money in wallet. Unless wallet users get special offers and rewards, there is hardly any point in loading money upfront and spending it.

Promotional offers usually do not stay forever and are one-time only. With debit/credit cards, UPI, Google Pay, Paytm etc., you can still electronically pay for the same goods and services. These options too are quick, safe and contactless.

Published on April 06, 2022
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