Home >> Digital >> Article

Airtel turns your mobile into a wallet, with RBI's blessing

01-February-2011
Font Size   16
Airtel turns your mobile into a wallet, with RBI's blessing

Following its earlier tie-up with the State Bank of India for a joint venture, Airtel is now the first telecom operator to allow you to use your phone to make payments directly. It’s a small launch – right now only in Gurgaon, but Airtel has tied up with merchants, including coffee shops and restaurants, who will accept payments via Airtel Money. The service will be next launched in Delhi, and then in other Indian cities.

However, the service still requires a person to visit an Airtel retail outlet and fill in cash before he/she can use it, with a minimum of Rs 10, and a maximum of Rs 5,000, and a monthly limit of Rs 50,000. This means that only individual shoppers are likely to find much use for the system. On the other hand, this isn’t the first time that such services have been contemplated. However, while earlier the problem was lack of permissions by the RBI, that hurdle has been cleared by Airtel.

The idea is not new, though, and one of the biggest hurdles in the way will be the scale of the service. If there are no places to spend the money using the service, can it really catch on? The service can be used to pay bills like electricity bills, shop over the counter at the chemist and small retail outlets, or buying movie tickets from home.

Two issues with the service are that it is not operator agnostic – only Airtel users can use the new service, and there is no option to link it to a debit card, removing the step of having to go to a retail merchant who will load money into your Airtel money account in exchange for cash. The cash incidentally will reside on your phone with no term limit, however, if there are no transactions for 12 months, then the account will be closed, along with any money in it.

The company will charge Rs 5 per month and Rs 5 per transaction, which might not sound like much, but the fact is that while the service is being launched in Gurgaon, if it gains widespread adoption, it will have to be in places where you don’t have a large network of ATMs, and where you don’t have people with credit cards.

The most successful examples of mobile payments have been not in the developed countries but in Africa, where the service adds a level of convenience and security to transactions in areas that are otherwise not easy to access.
 

Kartikeya Sharma says that June has been the best month for sales in the 11 years that the brand has been in India

The newly appointed CEO of ZEE5 on how he aims to have the widest appeal in the OTT space amongst Indian consumers

The VP, Marketing and Communications (South Asia), talks about the company's growth strategy, its focus areas, impact of demonetisation on consumer behaviour and much more

Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, talks about channel's rebranding, extending fiction shows to weekends and much more

right
left
RADIO CITY CELEBRATES ITS 17TH ANNIVERSARY WITH CONCERT, AWARDS AND FUN 5TH EDITION OF TIMES NOW & ICICI BANK’S NRI OF THE YEAR AWARDS GLOBAL INDIANS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BENGALURU SEES TOP INDUSTRY LEADERS AND MARKETERS IN ATTENDANCE DISTINGUISHED JURY COMES TOGETHER TO PICK WINNERS FOR PITCH’S TOP 50 BRANDS PITCH CMO SUMMIT BANGALORE SEES TOP CMOS ACROSS INDUSTRIES IN ATTENDANCE 1ST REPUBLIC TV GULF INDIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT & AWARDS HONOUR STALWARTS OF INDIAN GULF BUSINESS COMMUNITY SONY YAY! CELEBRATES ITS FIRST BIRTHDAY WITH PARTY FOR TRADE PARTNERS THOUGHT LEADERS AND TOP DIGITAL MARKETERS SPEAK @ EXCHANGE4MEDIA GROUP’S TECHMANCH 2018 IN MUMBAI EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S IDMA 2018 RECOGNIZES INDUSTRY’S BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS REALTY PLUS UNVEILS COFFEE TABLE BOOK AT 10TH CONCLAVE & EXCELLENCE AWARDS @AHMEDABAD EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK WINNERS OF INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING AWARDS 2018 OFF THE CUFF SEES ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’ MAN PARAMESWARAN IYER IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA EXCHANGE4MEDIA’S LOUDEST.IN HOSTS INAUGURAL EDITION OF MUSIC INC. IN MUMBAI EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS PORTER PRIZE & INSTITUTE FOR COMPETITIVENESS RECOGNIZE STRATEGIC ACUMEN IN COMPANIES DELHI AD CLUB-SAARC AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE EXCELLENCE ACROSS CREATIVE, MEDIA & DIGITAL AGENCIES BSNL & CALL2ACTION COMMUNICATION INDIA LAUNCH MOBILE ADVERTISING PLATFORM, INFOMO IN NEW DELHI CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ACTIVIST KAILASH SATYARTHI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘EVERY CHILD MATTERS’ SENIOR JOURNALIST VIJAY TRIVEDI LAUNCHES BOOK ‘YADA YADA HI YOGI’ BASED ON YOGI ADITYANATH EMINENT JURY CONGREGATES TO PICK IMPACT’S 40UNDERFORTY ACHIEVERS

John Immesoete talks about the changing role of CCOs in the digital era, new agency models and more

Guenther Sproll of Germany's Liebherr-Hausgeräte on his game plan for the Indian market, product pricing and more

By launching its global Generosity Campaign in India, Cadbury now explores the theme of Achhai (goodness), building on its strong proposition of Kuchh Meetha Ho Jaaye