Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Sep 20, 2005
Money & Banking
Credit Cards & Debit Cards
Info-Tech - Telecommunications
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Bharti, ICICI Bank, Visa launch `mobile wallet'
Mr Akhil Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Bharti Tele-Ventures, and Ms Chanda Kochhar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, at the launch of Airtel mChq, a credit card on the mobile phone, in the Capital on Monday. - Kamal Narang
New Delhi , Sept. 19
BHARTI Tele-Ventures on Monday announced a tie-up with ICICI Bank and Visa to launch credit card on the mobile phone.
The new service - mChq - will allow Airtel subscribers in Delhi and Mumbai to purchase goods for as low as Rs 50. Once the product is bought, the retailer sends an SMS to the customer from a special mobile phone mentioning the amount.
The customer then enters his PIN number and sends back an SMS to the retailer acknowledging the amount to be paid. Both the parties get a confirmatory SMS indicating the completion of the transaction.
"The service eliminates the need of carrying cash for making a purchase and also does away with the need of a point of sale (POS) terminal since the mobile phone serves as a secure POS and a payment mechanism," said a press release.
In the first phase, this service will be available to Airtel and ICICI Bank customers in Delhi, Mumbai, & NCR across 100 retail outlets, including departmental stores, restaurants and bookshops and will be expanded to other cities in the coming months.
Airtel customers subscribing to this service will be issued a new SIM card free of cost while ICICI Bank cardholders will be issued an add-on card on the basis of their existing ICICI Bank-Visa credit card.
"Mobile phones will now turn into virtual wallets and there is chance that the entire concept of payment may change," said Mr Akhil Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Bharti Tele-Ventures.
The service is known as mobile wallet in other parts of the world.
Ms Chanda Kochhar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said, "With the rapid penetration for mobile phones in the Indian market ICICI Bank sees a great potential in servicing customers in this segment. Every transaction is pre-approved by the cardholder and digitally signed through a PIN number." The service will be expanded to 500 more outlets in the second phase.
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