Panel Discussion On The Possibilities, IAMAI Symposium On Financial Inclusion Through Mobile Phones

A Panel discussion on the Possibilities then followed after R.Chandrashekhar’s talk

The panel constituted of

  • Anil Pande, Head Product Development Management, Reliance Communications
  • Sunil Kulkarni, President – Corporate, Oxigen Infovision Pvt Ltd
  • Probir Roy, Co Founder, Paymate
  • Sanjay Swamy of mchek moderating the discussion.


Sanjay started the discussion defining the financial inclusion , which he said was bringing people to banking services, He then pointed out that even the Tier 1 cities have 50% un-banked population,forget about the lower rural parts of the country. He then asked the panel what are the specific changes required to achieve greater financial inclusion.

Anil Pande took the question, he said that India is a cash country and that close to 500B USD worth of cash transactions take place in India with most of it happening with the banked population. He pointed out that most of the transactions are retail payments or P2P payments and that Low ticket transactions are huge and as the costs associated with these low ticket transactions are still high banks are un-comfortable with the low ticket transactions. He pointed out that mobile subscriber base has superceded the banking base  and the only way for financial inclusion is the way Philppines and Kenya did, He said that with all the mobile operators put in, they can easily handle the low ticket transactions.

Sunil Kulkarni, then took over pointing to the case studies of Sprite kholega toh bolega campaign, where in Oxigen has successfully implemented the campaign where in the user sends an sms with the code on the bottle crown and user get’s an instant re-charge of  talktime worth Rs 10,15,20. He then pointed out to Unilever cornetto campaign, where they again successfully implemented mobile wallet. He said that financial inclusion can be easily achieved by creating a wallet, answering the security issue he said that the security of this wallet will be on par with the credit card and debit card. Probir roy of Paymate continued the discussion

Probir pointed out that mobile financial services constitute
-Mobile banking
-Mobile payments
-Mobile Fund transfer

He then gave a snapshot of the rural market and India,which is

* Rural India contributed to 45% of India’s GDP
* It constitutes of 70% households and 40% of the country’s consumption
* India is 88% cash economy
*Close to 99% cash transactions in rural happen in Hard cash
* There are close to 500m mobile phones in the country Vs 200m bank accounts
* There is a very low penetration of financial services outside the urban setting
* 88% transactions happen in cash, 11% in cheque and 1% on card.

He then pointed out to the customer pain that there is fragmented or lack of access to financial services in the country, he said the problem is due to the limited financial services, at the rural lelvel the intermediaries are flourishing with loan rates at exorbitant level while in urban areas too the havala and postal services are providing inefficient and expensive remittance solutions.

Probir then said that there is huge opportunity if businesses could get leverage from the mobile penetration and try help thef 26mn households in the country without any access to financial services but have a mobile phone, he said the solution lies in enabling P2P fund transfer and also solving immediate problem for migrant labourer.

He then elaborated a proposed model for Mobile payments, which involves POP (similar to ATM), MPIN  and transaction code.

Sunil Kulkarn pointed out there is a need for a domestic network similiar to VISA and MASTERCARD to enable transactions, he said that mobile phone is very much similar to a no-frills bank account

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