Is Mobile Wallet A Distant Dream In India?
India, July, 27 2014 -
Despite a huge unbanked population and 700 million cell phone connections, the concept of mobile wallet will take some time to become popular in India as people are still unaware of its larger benefits like financial inclusion, even as the standards to make it functional are yet to be in place, experts maintain.
"People do not understand the larger concept. Mobile wallet is a complex software, where multiple players can play," said technology evangelist Sam Pitroda, credited for India's telecom revolution in the late 1980s and1990s.
"I really wanted to create a leather wallet metaphor on mobile phone -- one that gives all the functionalities I get in leather wallet. It has four phases - mobile banking, mobile payment, mobile commerce and mobile transaction," Pitroda told IANS. His company C-Sam had developed a mobile money transaction platform in 2010, which he sold off to MasterCard later.
"The concept has not matured in India. It has huge potential but it will take another 10 years to pick up in India as the standards are not in place. There are complex issues of interoperability and security," Pitroda added.
The technology is used and present in some forms in some African nations as well as countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Singapore. In India, telecom service providers like Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel have their individual mobile wallet platforms.