Bharti Airtel has expanded its mobile wallet service Airtel Money through its wholly owned subsidiary Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd. The service is now available in more than 300 key cities in India.
Initially the service was launched in Delhi NCR and Chennai in May 2011. In 2010, Airtel M Commerce was granted the license to use the semi closed wallet by the Reserve Bank of India.
Airtel Money allows its users to load cash on their mobile devices and pay utility bills and recharges, shop at 7,000+ merchant outlets, transact online as well as transfer from an airtel money wallet to another airtel money wallet and bank accounts. With this, customers can now use airtel money to make payments and transfer money across the country.
Registration: Airtel mobile customers can self register for Airtel money express Account by dialing *400# from their mobile phones or can sign up for the service on www.airtelmoney.in or by walking into any of the airtel money outlets and submitting the required KYC documents.
For airtel money Power accounts, Airtel partnered with more than 1,800 brands across the country, including utility providers, state electricity boards like BSES, Reliance Energy, Indraprastha Gas, telecom (BSNL/MTNL) and insurance (LIC) and mutual funds, organized retailers such as DT Cinemas, Fun Cinemas, Megamart, Univercell, Apollo Pharmacy among others as well as local chemists and grocery stores who willl be accepting payments through airtel money.
The firm added, airtel money will also work as a payment alternative to debit and credit cards in days to come for online transactions on Flipkart, Yatra and Letsbuy as also its own website www.airtel.in.
Sanjay Kapoor, CEO – India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel said, “While an estimated 240 million people across India hold bank accounts, more than 90 per cent of country’s population uses cash to pay for its daily needs. We see the national rollout of airtel money playing a pivotal role in accelerating mobile based commerce in India and look forward to further extending the availability of this service in deeper pockets of the country in weeks to come.”
Airtel is not the only firm with such a service. Handset maker Nokia also has a telecom operator agnostic money transfer and payment service, Nokia Money.
Most recently Movida India Pvt. Ltd. launched mobile payment service in partnership with HDFC bank. In 2011, Vodafone joined hands with HDFC bank to launch M-Paisa, Loop Mobile introduced Mobile Wallet and Google partnered with Visa to launch mobile payments services.