Recharging from the comfort of home was a story unheard of only a few years back. We all remember the time when we had to painfully move out of our couches to go to a recharge shop.

The advent of Paytm, Freecharge and other e-recharge platforms have made our lives simple and more sophisticated. Instant recharges are just a click of the button away and we have forever bid goodbye to offline recharges.

So, how in 5 years did online recharges come from being nowhere to existing almost everywhere?

Online Recharges – The Journey

Never did anyone hear of online recharge portals and websites for instant top up of mobiles, DTH and data cards some time back. So when Paytm and Freecharge were launched in 2010, there was curiosity as to how online recharges work.

Recharge Online

However, once users got used to instant recharges with benefits such as discounts and cashback, there was no turning back.

The convenience factor along with added perks made online recharges a rage which has almost entirely eaten into the offline recharge market.

1. Paytm

Paytm was one of the very first online recharge websites to win over the trust of users in India. Owned by One97 communications, Paytm launched into prepaid recharges, postpaid bill payments, DTH recharges and data card recharges since its launch.

Paytm Wallet

It has now expanded into mobile wallet and e-commerce stores. Paytm wallet is the most popular e-wallet service in India. Through it, cashback is given to users who make use of Paytm recharge offers and promo codes.

List of services offered by Paytm

  • Mobile Recharges
  • Bill Payments
  • DTH Recharges
  • Utility Bill Payments
  • Paytm Wallet
  • Metro Recharges (Delhi Metro and Mumbai Metro)
  • Booking Bus, Train and Flight Tickets
  • Movie Tickets
  • Hotels and Gift Cards
  • Pre-booking Bikes and Cars

2. Freecharge

Freecharge was launched in India around the same time as Paytm. The online recharge portal has since its inception gone through a multitude of changes and is now one of the top 3 online recharge and m-wallet services in India.


In one of the biggest acquisitions in the internet industry in India, Freecharge was bought by Snapdeal for an estimated $400 million in 2015. Since then, Freecharge has been enabling payments for purchases on Snapdeal and is also on a tough competition with rival Paytm

Here are the list of services offered by Freecharge

  • Prepaid Mobile Recharges
  • Postpaid and Utility Bill Payments
  • Broadband Bills
  • DTH and Data Card Recharges
  • Sending and Receiving Money
  • Online and Offline Merchant Payments

3. MobiKwik

MobiKwik is yet another e-wallet provider which came into being as an online recharge portal. Starting with prepaid recharges and bill payments, MobiKwik has slowly grown to become one of the best destinations on the internet for instant recharges.


In addition to recharges and payment of bills, MobiKwik also offers big discounts and exciting cashback deals on bus ticket booking and shopping at partner merchant sites. There are also big DTH recharge offers which are at par with Paytm DTH recharge deals.

Some of the services offered by MobiKwik

  • Mobile Prepaid Recharges
  • Postpaid Bill Payments
  • MobiKwik Wallet
  • Payment at Online and Offline Merchants
  • Bus Ticket Booking
  • Train Ticket Booking

Online recharges have come a long way from where they were during the turn of the decade. They have become a norm right now. With advanced smartphones and more sophisticated devices yet to come, e-recharges and virtual transactions will soon become indispensable.

Are you aboard the digital boat yet?

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