The Telangana government’s first digital payment app, T Wallet, launched a few days ago, is facing an identity crisis. Another app with a similar name (t wallet) is creating confusion among smartphone users. Many downloaded the private app in the last few days.
What compounded the problem was that the private app appeared on top of the list in Google Playstore on Android phones and users instantly clicked and downloaded it only to realise the folly later. After deleting the wrong app they are scrolling down the Playstore list to find the government wallet (that has a different logo) and then download it. The government e-wallet was not in the top-20 list initially, but because of heavy downloads in the last few days it had made it to top-2 place on the list as on Sunday. However, the Pune firm’s app ‘t wallet’ still continues to occupy first place.
The IT department had no clue about the existence of another app with a similar name until its own e-wallet launch. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, IT department, stated that they would be contacting Prime Communications, Pune which is running the app. “The government announced this T Wallet project in December 2016 and the department was working on it ever since. A few weeks afterwards we learnt that a mobile company also zeroed in on the same T Wallet name. Then we sent a communication about the government decision after which they dropped their idea,” he said. Mr Jayesh said they will wait for the response of the Pune firm and then take a decision. Although names are mostly similar, the logos are different, he stressed.
Santosh Kumar, an expert in IT laws, stated that the government has two options before it. One is to enter into negotiations with the business entity and see whether it has any trademark registration, whether the app is operational etc. The other option is go to court if the business entity was trying to take undue advantage by having the same name as that of a government e-wallet, he said.