Still a Long Way to Go

Consumer Voice - - Bfsi Guide -

The RBI li­cens­ing regime is also dis­cour­ag­ing mo­bile money growth in the coun­try. The present sys­tem al­lows only e-trans­fer of money and ap­proves semi-closed pre­paid in­stru­ment is­suance; it does not al­low ‘cash out’ from the semi-closed wal­let.

As ob­served in a United Na­tions study, the tele­com and non-bank-led mod­els for mo­bile pay­ments have wit­nessed ma­jor suc­cess in de­vel­op­ing economies. It cre­ates a large pool of un­tapped cus­tomers with no ac­cess to for­mal bank­ing ser­vices.

The prob­lems with mi­cro­fi­nance in In­dia had raised a ques­tion: is it too early for fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in In­dia? And now there is a new ques­tion: is it too early for in­clu­sion through mo­bile phones? As of now, m-wal­lets in In­dia have a long dis­tance to cover as peo­ple still rely on the bank to de­posit their money, and are not com­fort­able trans­fer­ring money through mo­bile phones.

Mo­bile op­er­a­tors are in­creas­ingly well-suited to pro­vide se­cure and sim­ple fi­nan­cial ser­vices, and by part­ner­ing with banks, they can play a ma­jor role in de­liv­er­ing on the gov­ern­ment’s fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion ob­jec­tives.

The new m-wal­let plat­form be­ing built will also work on the In­ter­net. It needs ca­pa­bil­ity to pro­vide In­ter­net-based ser­vices also, given that re­duc­tion in price points of smart­phones and in­creased avail­abil­ity has led to (their) greater adop­tion.

In 2011, in­dus­try es­ti­mates and ex­perts had said that by 2015 any­where be­tween 200 and 300 mil­lion peo­ple would be within the am­bit of fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion through mo­bile plat­forms, but the present num­bers have not reached even one-sixth of that. Tele­com com­pa­nies are ex­pect­ing that once the RBI comes out with the fi­nal guide­lines, they will be al­lowed to pro­vide cash-out ser­vices with­out any in­ter­ven­tion from banks.

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