After e-commerce the next cool thing to hit Indian users is mobile-commerce. Earlier I had blogged about Money Transfer through Mobile Phones. It is really catching up especially with Bank Sectors. HDFC Bank is taking the trend to the next level.
HDFC are planning to come out with mobile wallets. Thinking what is so special about it? Well I after reading this you might just just change your mind. The mobile wallet is a kind of substitute for your so called “credit and debit cards”. Instead of swiping your card, one can now use mobile phone for purchases by clicking through the options on their mobile phone.
“We are planning to introduce mobile wallets and remittances in coming years,” said Rahul Bhagat, Executive Vice-President of Retail Banking at HDFC Bank. “We are looking at getting debit card and credit card services on mobile phones for transactions,” he added.
As mobile subscribers number keeps on increasing one can expect a large number of banks to tap this market. Currently, India has 1.6 Million Mobile Banking Users.
Just imagine now one does not need to carry the bunch of credit or debit cards as they used to do earlier. Common man will surely save a lot of time and money and money. Now one does not need to apply for credit or debit cards nor would he need to pay annual fees for the cards.
What more interesting seems is how they are going to promote this service. For starters let’s take it this way (just for fun) – two people conversing with each other one saying “aaj mere paas debit card hai, credit card, gold aur platinum cards bhi hai tumhare paas kya hai?” and the other one replying “bhaiii! Mere paas in sabka tod – Mobile Wallet hai.” LOL
Ok, now getting back to the topic. In an interview Arvind Kathpalia, Kotak Bank head for operations, technology and finance, said that “Mobile banking will also reduce operational costs for banks and also enable us to save money per transaction, which would have otherwise gone to the application provider”.
It sounds the next best thing that could happen to mobile-commerce industry. But what concerns me more are is how is it going to face the challenges like interoperability, scalability and reliability and how much amount will it charge to its users for the service? Yes, the concept is good and appealing too but will surely take some time to kick off in a country like India.