Saturday, September 12, 2015


Mobile Wallets are digital equivalent of a physical wallet that we all need to carry. It actually stores digitised information for authorisation at various levels. It could take the form of a credit card number, a password, a digital certificate, picture identification or any other information. In short, these are entry points to access a user’s most sensitive information and data. Hence, the security of these entry points is highly critical.
Empowerment with a single device
A mobile wallet facilitates the users to pay for the purchases at NFC payment acceptance terminal, besides helping them buy train or airplane tickets on the go. The information is stored on the smartphone, which can be at the actual travel time, get logged in to the company’s network to work remotely, enter the office premises without having to swipe any identification card, check in to a hotel, pay for movie tickets and enter the movie hall without having to produce any physical ticket and much more.
Although mobile wallets potentially hold keys to innumerable possibilities, these are primarily being used for payment. It is working as an online platform which allows a user to keep money in it, just like a bank account. The concept of mobile wallet is still in its infancy in India but is already gaining a lot of fan following and patronising among for payment purposes. According to a study by the research firm RNCOS, the current Indian market size for m-wallets stands at about Rs 350 crore and is estimated to rise to Rs 1,210 crore by 2019.
How does it work?
The user creates an account with a mobile wallet service provider and adds money to the account as in a regular bank account. Debit, credit and other online transactions are then conducted through this account. This facility offers some great advantages over online banking — users are not charged for any transaction, one does not have to enter the card details/pin numbers/passwords for every single transaction and the transactions can be conducted on the go. Nothing beats the mWallet in terms of convenience that it imparts to the users.
Though the target users of mobile wallets are predominantly young tech savvy section of the society, yet it holds great promise for all those who use smartphones in their daily routine. The reach and accessibility of this facility is only going to increase with time as it frees its users from having to maintain cash and waddle of debit/credit cards.
Among the forerunner companies in this space in India are PayTm, MobiKwik, Oxigen, mRupee and FreeCharge. Paytm mobile payment service is the RBI-approved digital wallet. It provides recharging and bill payment facilities, including electricity bills, gas bills, telephone bills. It is a preferred choice of payment across companies like Uber, BookMyShow and MakeMyTrip.
MobiKwik wallet can be used to pay for various utilities bills and in addition to that, users can make purchases on popular e-commerce sites, including eBay, Snapdeal, ShopClues, MakeMyTrip, redBus, Domino’s Pizza, HomeShop18, Infibeam, Pepperfry and many more.
Using Oxigen, people can share money with their friends and family over social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google+ and Twitter. Users can also use Oxigen to pay bills and make online purchases.
mRupee, another company licenced by the RBI, enables users to take care of bill payments and transfer money to near and dear ones. Citrus Pay, Free Charge, Zaakpay, ItzCash are some more players in this field. With changing digital lifestyle, mobile wallet is going to play a significant role in the transactional routine of people.

This appeared in 'The Tribune' on 12 September, 2015.

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