Bharti Airtel is soon going to launch mobile wallet and mobile payment services in India. In a press statement on Wednesday, Bharti Airtel announced that the Reserve Bank of India had granted it a license to offer “Semi Closed Wallet” services to its customers.
Users will be able to use the mobile wallet service to conduct transactions up to Rs 5000. They can use the wallet at specific outlets which will tie up with Bharti. Users can only use it for purchases, not for withdrawing cash. Mobile phone penetration is much higher than that of banking services in India.
“Semi-closed wallet are prepaid payment instruments that are redeemable at a group of clearly-identified merchant locations/ establishments which contract specifically with the issuer to accept the payment instrument. These instruments do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption by the holder.
Currently we are evaluating various options that this licence provides to find out how best we can create a value proposition for Airtel customers. It is imperative to design a safe & convenient deployment before we can take to the market,” said the official statement by Bharti Airtel.
Mobile payments are touted to be the next big thing, both in mobile VAS and banking. Knowing Airtel, you can rest assured that it is going to be huge; probably the beginning of mobile payment services in India.