Indian mobile payments market gaining momentum





The Indian mobile payment market has started attracting many initiatives. It will be one of the few segments that will grow faster than many other hot sectors in the country.






By 2015, $350 billion in payments and banking transactions could flow through mobile phones. This would include government payments, points of sale and bill payments, banking transactions.





As of May 2011, there were 1.1 crore mobile payment users in India as compared to only 400 last year with the value of the transaction estimated to be Rs 1.6 crore. Mobile phones will lead in a new form of payment in India – mobile money, according to a study by Boston Consulting Group.





India, a very attractive destination for this service high mobile penetration, combined with limited banking facilities; make emerging markets like India ripe for mobile money deployment.





India is witnessing many initiatives. Recently Nokia joined hands with Union Bank of India for mobile money transfer service called Union Bank Money. If we look at the growth of our mobile tie up with Nokia over the last four months, then going ahead we can easily have two million transactions in a year,” said Lalit Sinha, general manager (alternative banking), Union Bank. Union Bank is also providing ATM card to all the customers who have registered under Union Bank Money services.





The telecom service providers like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel are also not far behind in providing such services to their customers.





Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement with the State Bank of India to offer banking services through mobile phones and Vodafone Essar has also signed a deal with ICICI Bank to provide mobile banking products. 





ICICI Bank will also offer banking products such as savings accounts, pre-paid instruments and various credit products through Vodafone Essar’s outlets.





Initiatives in the recent past have been positive which is, in turn, is giving a positive direction for mobile banking. Schemes, such as Reserve Bank of India’s easing of stringent regulations pertaining to mobile banking via increase of cap on fund transfers from INR 5,000 to INR 50,000; and the new interbank mobile payment service launched by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), are nurturing the required ecosystem for increased roll-out and adoption of mobile money.





Exploding smart phone growth and myriad opportunities will help the growth of mobile payments at a much faster rate. Going ahead technology will play a major role in making mobile banking more user friendly.





By Abhilasha Sharma
[email protected]