Airtel has expanded its mobile wallet venture ‘Airtel Money’ to 300 Cities across India.
Airtel has been one of the pioneers of m-wallets in India & has worked relentlessly since its pilot launch in Delhi & NCR last year. Airtel Money claims to be an easiest to operate Mobile Payments system that enables payments across a wide range of services like Utility bills, mobile & DTH recharges etc. Airtel Money works on the simple mechanism of Load & Use. Airtel subscribers who wish to avail the service have to fist open an “Account” by either self-registering through the mobile or visiting Airtel Galleries or even online at AirtelMoney.in. Once that is done successfully, user need to load the m-wallet with money from either online Bank Transaction or visiting Airtel galleries.
While this appears to be a great initiative with ability to pay at over 7000 merchant outlets & cashless transactions and all, we wonder how effective is the method in today’s world where Debit Cards & Credit Cards are so very commonly accessible.
Nokia too, introduced a similar initiative last year. Having said that, we do see a change for better in the remote corners of India, where mobiles have already reached, but banks have yet to place ATMs. We had predicted a revival of payments through mobiles, but the field has yet to see wide adoption. Once this method receives a thumbs-up from the common man, the services should see an upswing in regular use.
Speaking of adoption, even Vodafone has yet to release an update on it ‘m-paisa’.
The government too seems supportive of this method, having lifted the Rs. 50,000 cap as a New year’s gift!. For Airtel users, presently there are two options; Express account or Power account. The Express account has a daily spending limit of Rs.10,000 and is applicable to utility and recharge bills, while Power account has daily spending limit of Rs. 50,000 and can be used for utility and recharge bills and also merchant outlets, online shops and transfers.
Do you use such services? What is your experience?