Mobile payment is completely a different domain and generally refers to payment of services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. It is also referred to as mobile money, mobile banking, mobile money transfer and mobile wallet.

Mobile payment is an alternative payment method. Instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods such as:

  • Music, videos, ringtones, online game subscription or items, wallpapers and other digital goods.
  • Transportation fare (bus, subway or train), parking meters and other services
  • Books, magazines, tickets and other hard goods.

The primary benefit of mobile money is the empowerment of such segments of people who doesn’t have their bank accounts. They can start using this facility by registering with the entity by fulfilling the KYC (Know your customer) norms.

This service has been already successful in Indonesia, Kenya, Japan, Africa etc. but in India this system has not yet received encouraging response because of many reasons, some of them are:

  • The key obstacles faced for full deployment of mobile money in India is the Consumer awareness.
  • Because of adjustment with the current ecosystem as it is not ready to accept such changes.
  • Also mainly due to the Regulatory restrictions of the Government. Though these restrictions has been removed to some extent but that too on conditional basis.
  • There is one more hurdle that the other party to whom the payment is to be made doesn’t have this mobile facility.

According to current figures, around 90% of people in India make cash payments for their purchases. All business and finance people is looking it as a positive sign because they believe these transactions can be made with the help of mobile phones as many people don’t have debit cards, credit cards or even bank accounts. Current figures also reveal that 240 million people in India have bank accounts and on the other hand 990 million people have mobile phones. So, it’s a good opportunity for the business and finance people.

Nowadays approximately around 3% of the population of India uses mobile as a wallet but it is expected that this percentage of people using mobile as a wallet facility will grow to 20-25% in next 2-3 years.

Current trends in Mobile money:

In India, a partnership model is evolving where banks, telecom operators and other service providers are expected to work together that will help in proliferation of mobile money services. This model is expected to tie in technology, distribution, and other pieces and enable the ecosystem to grow that will ultimately benefit the consumer.

Further, from a technology standpoint, Near Field Communication (NFC) in which a mobile and a merchant (where the customer has to pay) device can talk in a closed area of network where there is no need for internet facility. This NFC is expected to revolutionize the way proximity payments are conducted. Consumers can make payments with the simple tap of their mobile phones, very much like a credit/debit card. Consumers will no longer be required to carry their wallet for making payments. Another way is that this facility can be used with the help of SMS (short messaging service) so here also there is no need for internet facility.


Airtel has launched a new service – Airtel Money. With the help of Airtel Money one can easily get money into your mobile. To use Airtel Money you have to register for it. One will be asked to choose a mPin which will be needed to make the transfer of money. This facility is available across 300 key cities in India, ‘airtel money’ is a fast, simple and secure service that allows its users to load cash on their mobile devices and spend it to pay utility bills and recharges, shop at 7,000-plus merchant outlets and transact online,
One should not set mPin’s which can be guessed easily (like your house number/ year of birth/ 1111 etc) since every transaction in one’s account is authenticated by this mPin.
Best part of recharging mobile by Airtel money is that one gets 5% cash back. Many other companies are offering discount on paying bills by Airtel Money.
One can easily pay Airtel Bill, recharge the friend’s airtel mobile, and pay BSNL and MTNL bills and purchase tickets for movies. Also one can even deposit money to any bank account. It takes only 1 business day to get cash into Bank account for which money is deposited.
To register a account for Airtel Money one should be 18 years old .One person can have only one Airtel Money account.
There are three types of accounts under the Airtel Money service –

Express account;

Under the Express service, pay for all utilities including:

a) Airtel prepaid mobile and digital TV recharge.
b) Airtel mobile and fixed line bills.
c) Electricity, gas, insurance etc.

Load cash and spend up to Rs 10000 daily*

*Airtel customers all over India except Jammu and Kashmir can register for express account.

Power account;

Under Power Account, pay for all airtel money services including:

a) Utilities (all express account features)
b) Movie tickets
c) Restaurants, spas and shopping.

Load Cash and spend up to Rs. 50,000 daily*
*Transactions done by dialing *400# have a limit of Rs 5,000 per transaction.

*Airtel customers all over India (except Jammu and Kashmir) can register for power account.

Super account:

Under Super Account:

a) Send and receive money from other airtel money super account customers.
b) Withdraw money from any airtel money- super account outlet.
c) Earn interest on balance amount @ 4% p.a.

Load cash, send and withdraw upto Rs. 25000 daily*

This account will be available only in Mumbai, Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.