Mobile phone is going to be more than mere being used for communication now it will serve as your ATM and credit card.
Basically wallet phone concept was introduced by the Japanese telecommunication major NTT-DoCoMo way back in 2004. The device has the features of a cell phone and credit card with the help of a multi-application built-in smart card. All the financial transactions involving ‘debt and credit’ cards can be operated wirelessly through your mobile.
The smart card uses the prepaid concept and can be charged for the payment from the store where a reader is installed.
In India, mobile wallet will have a combination of a smart card as well as the power of the SMS. So in the coming years, if you want to eat out, buy movie tickets, book a flight, shop, all you would need to do is send an SMS!
In 2005 Airtel launched a mobile wallet service and many more banks are following the line and partnering with mobile payment providers to offer the service. At present in India the payment players are mChek, Obopay and PayMate. Transaction is in encrypted text message format. You need to have a GPRS enabled phone, which has a JAVA based download able application platform and a credit or debit card account with one of the partner banks. The phone will have the details of the owner’s credit and the application will initiate a payment or transaction securely after PIN verification. The transaction will take place between the mobile phones and backend servers using GRPS thus eliminating security breaches.
The Reserve Bank of India is formulating the regulatory guidelines for mobile payments to ensure that the entire process is secure. The final draft is expected by June 2008.
Working of Mobile Wallets:
With mobile wallet you do not need to carry your heavy conventional wallet everywhere as all your card information will be stored in the phone. Only your mobile SIM card needs to be replaced with a software- enabled smart card from a service provider like mCheque. For instance, if you purchase a smart outfit from an outlet which is "MW equipped”, the retailer will use a special phone to send a message to your mobile indicating the amount you have to pay. On confirming your purchase with your unique four digit password, a confirmation SMS will be sent to you as well as the retailer and your purchase will become legitimate. You only pay for the SMS you send while validating the transaction. The entire process is secure and takes just about a minute. Above all, an item costing as low as fifty rupees can be yours with this technology.
Recently Bharti Airtel has tied-up with ICICI Bank and Visa Card, launched it’s mChq service in Delhi and Mumbai. Currently there are very few locations which accept this service as a mode of payment.
It is believed the mobile wallet will have to face the challenges of scalability, reliability, and cost to effectively cost to effectively monopolize the Indian market.