Mobile Payments has potential to reach the unbanked population of India: CMD Beam Money


Mobile Payments has potential to reach the unbanked population of India: CMD Beam Money

February 18, 2013 by (FINN) Frontier India News Network

Given that mobile payments is the future of non-cash payment mechanisms in India, Frontier India (FINN) quizzed Anand Shrivastav, Chairman  & Managing Director, Beam Money, on various aspects of mPayments:

FINN: Safety of Mobile payment

AS: Mobile is probably the safest and most cost efficient way of dealing with payments. A company that wants to set up a mobile payment business has to follow the same procedures with Reserve Bank of India that financial institutions like banks, NBFC’s and others have to go through. Mobile payment company is classified as a Payment Gate by RBI. An approved company sets up an escrow account with a bank. When printing or creating the money recharge coupons, the company deposits the equivalent amount of money in the escrow account. Beam Money has data centers at 3 locations, which helps in disaster management and business continuity. We follow the industry standard encryption so that the data is not compromised. Backgrounds are checked and training imparted before appointing a company staff. Software ensures that personal information is not accessible. There is a 16 digit Transaction Identification Number (TIG), which is unique to the customer. Even the transactions are have a different number, so that cloned cards and data interception become ineffective. On point of sales level, there are no physical coupons, so the question of fakes does not arise. A customer gets instant confirmation of his transactions.  


FINN: It brings in the potential of money laundering

AS: No sensible person will use the mPayment route for money laundering because the large payments and SIM’s can be tracked easily. There is actually a compliance mechanism for the payment gateways to track and report such activities.

FINN: How easy is mobile payment?

AS: For transactions on Beam Money, there are no software’s to download. Even a basic phone can be used for money transfers. Recharges are available via 50,000 channel partners. We even have women Sahayak’s who sell recharges and women are gainfully employed. Beam Money is being used by 14 million customers in India.

FINN: What is the market size?

AS: India has a 40% unbanked population that have no access to alternative method of financial services. Around $600 Million worth of cash transfers occur in India in a year. mPayment market is expected to witness robust growth, driven by high mobile penetration, increased affordability of mobile phones and reduced mobile network tariffs. Accessibility of payments platforms through numerous technology mediums such as mobile wallets is expected to lead to wider reach for mPayments.

FINN: Future plans of the company

AS: Beam Money’s mobile wallet has rolled out its Air Ticket booking service in 100 Post Offices across Tamil Nadu. Customers can book domestic as well as international air tickets at a Post Office near them, at an economical price, without requiring credit/debit card or net banking. We plan to roll-out such initiatives. We closed our books at Rs 90 crore in the current financial year and are hoping to earn Rs 125 crore in 2012-13. Our aim is to reach 100 million customers and 6 lakh Beam sahayaks by 2015-16.

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