Indian state-run operator BSNL launched Speed Pay on Friday (July 3), a mobile wallet service which allows its users to transfer money, pay for services and withdraw even if the user does not have a bank account, The Economic Times reports.
“Loading money into wallet from a bank account is an option. BSNL customers who don’t have bank accounts can also load money by visiting any BSNL retail outlet and ask the retailer to recharge their mobile wallet account and pay for various services,” BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said.
The service, launched in partnership with IT company Pyro, works with Visa to enable Speed Pay users to purchase goods both offline and online, when Visa-based transactions are accepted.
Pyro CEO Paritosh Reddy explained that the service will charge 1 percent per transaction from mobile wallet transfers to other bank accounts or if there is cash withdrawal. “There are no other charges for other services. Daily cash withdrawal limit is Rs 5,000 and for full Know Your Customer compliant person it is Rs 1 lakh.”
The money loaded to the mobile wallet via a prepaid card can be transferred to a bank account and withdrawn at bank branches or BSNL outlets. Mobile wallets are still rapidly growing in India, especially as an alternative to banks, which is due to the fact that despite a population of 1.2 billion, India has only 450 million bank accounts, many of which are inactive.
“We have tied up with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank to facilitate this service. We are in advance talks with Punjab National Bank and Bank of India to expand its scope. At present top up facility is available across 1,000 BSNL outlets in Andhra Pradesh and in three months we will expand it to 45,000 outlets in AP,” Reddy said.
Other rival services include Paytm — the Indian mobile marketplace giant, which allows its users, among many other services, to transfer money between wallets or from wallet-to-bank — and MoneyOnMobile, which manages to process about 16 million transactions a month. MoneyOnMobile has generated a user base of 121 million users and 236,000 merchants to enable their mobile money solution.