Mobile wallet

Mobile payments may have covered a few miles in terms of  its adoption, but  it still has a long way to go in India. In his first speech after taking over as Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Raghuram Rajan stated that mobile payments can be a game-changer both for the financial sector as well as for mobile phone companies.

What is a mobile wallet?

It is a product where you can load money through an agent or your bank account. To use a mobile wallet, you only need to have a mobile phone, which means even an unbanked customer can use this. Moreover, no internet connection is required to use this facility.

The emerging or rather already emerged mobile commerce will enable the users to pay directly from their cell phone.  Though mobile commerce is still at a nascent stage in India, many banks and telecom companies have started exploring it. The new modes of payments based on mobile and internet would soon spread with a proper mechanism. According to a report, India has 67M smartphone users and ranks 5th among the top countries for smartphone users. Interestingly, the report points out that over 50 per cent of total Indians  ‘share everything’ or ‘most things’ online. According to Nielson, 50% of smartphone users in India are under 25 yrs indicating the potential users of mobile wallet facility. PayMate,  a wireless transactions platform provider, was the first one to realize this potential way back in year 2006. They were the first ones to leverage the growth of mobile usage in India.  There are many others like NgPay, PayTm, Vodafone’s mPesa, Mobile on Money , Oxicash and many more who joined the league.

Advantages of having a mobile wallet.

The best thing why I love using a mobile wallet is that you don’t need to enter the credit card details every time you transact. Once you register your card, you are done. Then, just use it freely.

Paying your day to day bills through your phone.

Recharging your phone and DTH wherever you are even without using internet.

Online shopping , Booking movie tickets, air tickets and bus tickets and much more.

Major hurdles in mobie commerce adoption :

Consumer Trust: Security fears remain the primary concern preventing more smartphone users from adopting mobile payments. People in India are quite sensitive when it comes to sharing their banking details. They also have fever like, what if my smartphone gets stolen? What if my battery dies while using my mobile wallet. Well to answer this, I would just say that mobile wallets are secure enough to take care of all these things and one cannot access or use your mobile wallet without your pin/password.

Resistance to change:  We, the people of India are highly unwilling to change anything which has become our habit. We  are so much used to the traditional cash payments that we don’t want to explore the simplicity of mobile payments. I

Lack of proper technological infrastructure: Well, this is the major drawback due to which the existing players are not able to grow as per their expectations. The basic thing which is internet connectivity is ridiculously slow even after 3G services. The technology used for offering such high end services is also obsolete. NFC, which can be a major milestone in mCommerce cannot be used in India due to technological and adoption problems.

Sooner or later, mCommerce adoption in India is bound to happen bringing in a so-called Financial Inclusion in the country.

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