Mobile Wallet


By

Er Seema Garg
LM Thapar School of Management
Thapar University
Patiala
 


Mobile Wallet is nothing but a replacement of your thick, pocket-protruding wallet with your mobile phone equipped with functions of a bank card, credit card, house keys, company access control ID, train tickets, driving license, photos, sport club membership card, and so on! A multi-application smart card built into the mobile phone makes all these services possible.

INTRODUCTION

Using one's handset as a financial tool, or the mobile wallet is an interesting concept which is becoming increasingly popular and integrated across consumer platforms. Not only does it allow users on the move to access financial accounts, but also plays an integral part in the development of digital commerce and banking.

The mobile wallet is proving especially effective in developing countries where desktop access to the Internet and banking opportunities are still a privilege, yet mobile accessibility is extremely high.

This growth can be partly traced back to technological and demographical developments that have been influencing important aspects of the socio-cultural behavior in today's world.

With the scampering growth in technology, banks are trying to make life easier for their customers. Mobile Banking presents an opportunity for banks to retain their existing, technology-savvy customer base by offering value-added, innovative services. Besides, not many banks in India have extended access to their customers for online transactions from their respective accounts. We also see demand for mobile banking software, which enables a customer to make direct payment to anyone using his mobile almost in the manner he sends an SMS.

Traditional banks encompass physical branches and ATMs, while the mobile-breed of financial service operators use the Internet, mobile devices and affiliations with established businesses to service the public in new ways. Now, mobile banking, or m-banking is opening up even more doors.
Specialised m-banking service providers can cater for anything from balance enquiries to portfolio management and even live stock trading. Essentially, this allows consumers to monitor and manage transactions from anywhere.

Great for businesses processes, consumers can also receive real-time SMS alerts via their mobile devices, keeping them informed of any anticipated or even fraudulent transactions as they happen.
Platforms can be developed using any number of GSM functions to deliver m-banking to the community. USSD m-banking platforms, for instance, can allow basic phone users to manage their finances without the need for Internet access or multimedia capabilities.

The benefits of mobile payment platforms:

  • Independent, or linked accounts available.
  • Requires little or no registration.
  • Easy publication and administration of vouchers and special offers for merchants.
  • Great for tracking and market analytics.
  • Multi-platform transactions.
  • Chargebacks and refunds handled with ease.
  • Cheaper transactions (for both consumer and merchant).
  • Micro-payments and reduced charges increase sales.
  • Global commerce, twenty-four-seven

CHALLENGES

The market needs regulation to clarify whether financial institutions have to be involved in all transactionsand where the legal bucket stops. This will just be the first step in developing a healthy market that will allow M-banking to flourish.

Other important policy and regulatory issues that will have to be tackled in the development of this new market are:

  • Payment systems regulation
  • Competition
  • Consumer protection
  • Possible macroeconomic implications
  • Security Concerns

As for M-banking firms, they have still a long way to go in understanding customer needs and the designing of customer-friendly products. They will have to work very hard in fully adapting their offerings to potential customers and teaching customers how to take full advantage of the services available.

However, this is not the end of the story.

CONCLUSION

Inspite of the challenges to be faced the rising popularity of applications, the proliferation of smartphones and greater familiarity with text messaging are driving the use of banking services on mobile phones.

As smaller banks follow large banks in offering mobile banking services, this year will see a further acceleration of growth.

REFERENCES

  • Economictimes.com
  • Businessstandard.com
  • Infosys.com
  • Nokia.com
  • Coolavenues .com
     


Er Seema Garg
LM Thapar School of Management
Thapar University
Patiala
 

Source: E-mail January 30, 2010

          

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