Digital wallets, mCommerce platforms in India
1. Airtel money on account of being India's largest cellular service provider in India (with 192.22 million subscribers as of August 2013) has been a popular mobile payment system. On its website, it calls itself a semi-closed wallet - "a prepaid payment instrument that is redeemable at a group of clearly-identified merchant locations/ establishments, which contract specifically with the issuer (airtel M Commerce Services Limited (AMSL) is the issuer in this case) to accept the payment instrument. These instruments do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption by the customer.". Built in collaboration with Infosys and SmartTrust, the platform was launched on 5 April 2012.
2. Vodafone India's m-pesa launched in April 2014 now offers competition to airtel money. Popular in Africa, M-Pesa is considered to be the most developed mobile payment system in the world.
3. Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) is provided by National Payments Corporation of India, the Reserve Bank of India approved Payment System Operator for retail Payments. It offers instant, 24×7, interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones. The model for the delivery of IMPS is bank-linked so a bank account is a prerequisite.
There are 3 airtel money account types and the least it costs to get started is Rs. 15 (there is currently a promotion: NO processing fee is charged if you do your first load cash online) while Vodafone charges Rs 200. You will have to deposit Rs.200 into your m-pesa account of which Rs.100 will be deducted as account activation fee and remaining amount shall be credited to your m-pesa account as balance.
Unlike with other modes of payment on IRCTC, the railway ticket booking website which is also India's largest e-commerce website, there are no transaction charges with airtel money. IRCTC's own eWALLET "scheme" under which user can deposit money in advance with IRCTC and can be used as payment option along with other payment options available on IRCTC for paying money at the time of booking tickets, charges Rs 5 for each eWALLET transaction. What's more, eWALLET registration and booking through eWALLET is not available from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm!
to be continued...