You’d be right if you think we in India have enough banks… but you’d be wrong if you think that every Indian has a bank account. You’ll be correct if you think that most banks in India now give the option of an online interaction… but you’d be wrong if you say that every Indian with a bank account does online transactions. Banks and the internet are two of the intervention points in the overall consumer journey… and not everyone undertakes this journey.
Let us now hop to the next intervention point, that is, the mobile phone. Now if you think that the mobile penetration is high, you’re right… but if you think that everyone who owns a mobile is aware of and interacts with commerce, payments, and related services through his mobile, you’re wrong.
The way banking, internet, and mobiles are now interacting is rather fascinating. This relationship is poised to mature with time… and some companies have already begun to take actionable interest in this development. Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions, feels that factors such as ‘increasing affordability, rising convergence of content and entertainment and growing need for mobile entertainment & social networking’ are the reasons why mobility solutions are going to become more desirable with time.
As I was talking about the convergence of banking, internet, and the mobiles, a friend made a sceptical remark, ‘You’re forgetting the debit and the credit cards that have a high visibility now.’ Well, I told him about a recent survey pointed out that there are 12 million merchants in India but only a limited number of cards. Moreover, the world anyway is poised to move towards making mobiles as the fulcrum in this equation. The traditionally B2b scenario is fast metamorphosing into a B2C environment… and this is where the high penetration of mobile technology steps in. And anyway, the moment you step out of home you realise that even a rickshaw-wala knows he much prefers his touch-screen android phone that has the ability to interact with banks through apps! Yes, literacy can be a stumbling area here, but then things are changing fast and this profile too is poised for a major over-haul.
Money and mobiles start with the alphabet M
It isn’t difficult to understand both of them!
Trending isn’t peculiar to just twitter… and so we find that money is trending with people and people know that the bridge that they need to walk over is made of electronic prepaid recharge, mobile wallet, mobile banking and mobile payments. The upsurge of mobile financial solutions is thus quite simple to understand… and this understanding is present even in sectors where literacy is yet to complete its formal induction.
Mahindra Comviva has, for now, a few mobility solutions with a fiscal halo. This company, by way of introduction, is among the top 3 mobile financial technology providers across the globe processing over 20 billion USD in payment flows and handling 700+ million consumers globally. They take pride in declaring that their ‘mobility solutions are deployed by over 130 mobile service providers and financial institutions in over 90 countries, transforming the lives of over a billion people across the world.’
According to their press release, their flagship products in this area are poised to reach out to consumers in ways that will benefit the flow of commerce.
Mobiquity® Wallet uses NFC, QR code, BLE and other such enabling technologies to give a user a more wholesome experience. This product has a role in bundling location-based promotions, automated coupon redemption, and loyalty card selection during checkout enabling single click payments. A merchant’s existing mobile application or web portal can be integrated and even in-app shopping included.
PreTUPSTM is their electronic recharge solution and makes it easy for consumers to top-up their prepaid account through which channel is convenient to them The channels included are the web, client app, kiosks, ATMs, STK and USSD. Through this they can even across the counter. Mahindra Comviva claims that ‘almost 9% of world population’s prepaid subscription is recharged using our PreTUPSTM.
PayPLUS is their chip-enabled comprehensive integrated payment solution that makes it possible for merchants, SMEs, and service professionals to convert their mobile phone into a Point-of-Sale (POS) device. This created POS also accepts debit and credit card payments. As a value addition, the payPLUS also delivers promotional campaigns with offers and discounts, to customers, based on their location / proximity from the merchant store.
During a recent press meet, Atul Madan, Head of Digital Services, Mahindra Comviva said, “Technological advancements have changed the very dynamics of the telecom industry. The wide spread penetration of mobile phones, driven by lowering costs and advanced capabilities, and ready availability of a plethora of content-rich mobile apps to keep the user engaged on the go, is gradually transforming the role of a mobile phone into a lifestyle companion.”
With all this to give our future a great leap, can audio and video applications be far behind? Well, no… the AVAN or the Aggregated Voice & Video Applications Network powers a voice apps storefront offering both home-grown and third party voice and video apps.
So, as I said earlier, the internet and the ubiquitous mobile phone (or any other technology supporting mobility) are already singing a song with banking and the consumer probably has no option but to stand and join the celebrations! More importantly, these solutions are like bringing banking alive for the yet unbanked!
30 October 2014
A few pictures from the blogger-meet conducted by Mahindra Comviva…