Not everybody has a credit card and not every shop accepts credit cards. So what do you do? Carry cash?
Airtel wants to change this. It has launched a service in Gurgaon which enables mobile payments. The subscriber needs to deposit money in his mobile account (similar to a bank account), and can then transfer money to the shopkeeper’s mwallet by sending an SMS.
Retailers need a phone connection and card reader to process credit card payments; while in case of Airtelmoney both the customer and the shopkeeper must have Airtel connections. Though restricting the mwallet service to within the Airtel network will reduce its dependability as a mode of financial transaction, the service will nevertheless enable even small shopkeepers to accept electronic money.
Airtel has launched this service in Gurgaon, Haryana, and plans to extend it to other parts of NCR within the next few days. The company has enrolled about 3,000 merchants that can accept Airtelmoney payments, and aims for this network to grow.
To start using this Airtelmoney, subscribers will need to visit an Airtel store with the documents required to buy a new SIM. They will be given a new SIM (64K) with a Airtelmoney application embedded in it, which will cost Rs 50 to activate, without any further charges after that.
User will have to generate a four digit mPIN similar to ATM PIN) this will serve as the password to the account.
Airtel has toll free number 12121 for Airtel customers and 8800012121 for non Airtel users, and has created a website www.airtelmoney.in to help people use this service.
While this is a very novel initiative and Airtel is the first telco to start this service (Oxygen has similar service but they are in the business of recharge stores and are not a teleco) , due to regulations only Rs 5,000 can be stored in the Airtelmoney wallet at any given time. The other problem is that you have to visit the Airtel retail store to recharge your Airtelmoney account — you can’t do it online.