OverviewAs we all know, in a bygone era eons ago humans used a barter system to acquire goods or food. Then came the age of coins and later paper currency. This led to a banking system wherein we put our cash in an account. Today, physically visiting a bank is no longer necessary with the easy facilities of Net banking. Four or five years ago there appeared bitcoins, taking the world by storm as a form of virtual currency. In recent years, though, bitcoins are no longer popular, primarily due to governments in various countries either banning their transactions or enforcing tough rules on its use. Now comes the concept of mobile money and a virtual wallet, known as a mobile wallet, in which to stash it away.
Let's find out more about the unique concept of mobile wallets, their benefits and downsides as well as its future.
Mobile Wallet FAQs
What is a mobile wallet?A wallet is basically a pocket-sized folder where you stash our currency, credit cards, ID cards, etc Think of this same folder in the digital world, where you store your mobile money. This virtual digital folder is your mobile wallet from where you can withdraw money for usage. You are thus "carrying" cash in your mobile handset!
For what type of transactions I can use the money in a mobile wallet?There are multiple ways in which you can use the mobile money stored in your digital wallet, such as:
How to transfer money to a mobile wallet? It is simple. All you need to transfer money via electronic means is a credit card or a debit card or Net banking. Some operators also make provision for cash pay.
How much money can be stored in a mobile wallet?You are free to store as much cash you wish in your mobile wallet up to a maximum of Rs.50,000/-.
How to access the money in a mobile wallet? You can get access to the stash in your mobile wallet through an app in your cell phone or online through the Net.
How to withdraw the balance amount in a mobile wallet? It is possible to transfer whatever amount is left as balance in your mobile wallet in a number of ways:
Note: The service provider will set a limit on the transaction which can be made.
What are the types of mobile wallets available in India?Like all financial services in India, mobile wallet services must adhere to the norms as laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). As per these norms, a mobile phone operator can offer either full access mobile wallets or ones that are prepaid.
How to set up a mobile wallet account? All you need to have is a simple hand set which enables you to send and receive SMS. You do not need a fancy smart phone at all.
You then need to sign up with a mobile wallet service provider. Your account to be set up requires: (i) A user name and (ii) A password or a PIN (Personal Identity Number) code (iii) A mobile number to attach to attach to your user ID. The service provider uses this number to authenticate your ID & will send SMS alerts when required. Note: you can link only one mobile number to one user ID.
Once you register, you will know what is your wallet limit. This could be up to Rs.10,000/-. However, if you wish to increase this to the maximum of Rs.50,000/-, you will need to submit certain documents for the KYC (Know Your Customer) process. The documents generally required are:
What are the fees for setting up and using a mobile wallet service? Generally for registration there is no fee. The fee you pay for the mobile wallet service is a percentage of the transaction you make using that service. For every transaction the mobile wallet service provider takes a percentage, this varying from one service provider to another.
What are the safety measures offered? Like any online service, mobile wallet service providers need to have proper security measures in place to ensure a customer's account is safe. You will thus have to follow certain steps in the event of forgetting your password. A great safety measure is that you will necessarily have to change your password or personal identity number which gives access to your account if you buy a new smart phone or don't retain your mobile number and, instead, migrate to a new cell phone number.
Mobile wallet service providers are confident that even if you lose your handset or it gets stolen, your payments cannot be misused. Naturally, this is provided you have not been foolish enough to store your wallet PIN in your mobile phone!
Furthermore, the minute you lose your mobile phone it is advisable to get the SIM deactivated by your cell phone operator. This will prevent anybody from misusing your wallet account. Also, you can suspend all transactions of your account right away and reactivate them when you get a new phone/find your old phone and reactivate it.
List of mobile wallet service operators in India
Contact Information: #758, 1st floor, Udyog Vihar Phase V, Gurgaon, Haryana-122016, India.
Ph: +91 999-992-5342 / Email: Partners@mobikwik.com
Contact Information: B-121, Sector 5, Noida 201301. Email: email@example.com [no contact phone numbers have been provided at the website]
Contact Information: Oxigen Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. Plot No. 257, Udyog Vihar, Phase I, Gurgaon (HR) 122 016.
Customer care Phone no. is 0124-6773377 (8am to 11pm, Monday-Saturday, excluding Sundays & government holidays)
Contact Information: Address not known.
Call Centre : +91-22-66720000 / Email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of Mobile Wallets The benefit of having cash in a mobile wallet is pretty obvious. You can make transactions anytime, anywhere through your mobile phone. It is also not the case that you can only use your mobile wallet for online shopping. If you get an SMS alert about a great deal at an offline store (which is a merchant partner of the service provider), you can avail of the deal merely by sending a text message for payment. Thus convenience of transactions is the primary benefit of a mobile wallet.
Disadvantage of Mobile Wallets Like any financial transaction, a mobile wallet too is not 100% safe from frauds. Of course, service providers assure that due to the strict authentication levels, such a fraud is miniscule. They even have encryption processes in place to ensure security of your transactions. Yet, it is possible that the balance in your account could be siphoned off by an expert hacker don't you think?!
Conclusion There is a growing niche of people who are attracted towards the concept of mobile wallet transactions. After all, the small security risks notwithstanding, there is no doubt that the sheer simplicity & convenience of a mobile wallet beats getting cranky while standing in a serpentine queue just to pay your gas bill!
However, it is doubtful whether it can totally take over paper currency transactions. In a country like India where a vast majority are not tech-savvy, leave aside having a hand set, it is difficult to envision doing away with Gandhiji's notes altogether to buy basic rice-dal!
Readers are welcome to share their experience with mobile wallets through the comment box below. Have a query about mobile wallets? Ask the Experts!
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.
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Sir how to convert mobile currency in to Cash
Really a mobile wallet is a revolutionary step which helps us in various easy transactions. Today, in the world of Information Technology, we are getting latest technology day by day. Hence, mobile wallet is also a boon for us. It helps in online shopping, paying electricity bills or any other bill, booking air/train ticket, movie ticket, mobile recharge and many more benefits.
Mobile wallet is a very useful these days. Paytm providing amazing services with the help of PayTM wallet we can buy mobiles, Cloths etc. We can also transfer money using PayTM wallet.
I would like to introduce Google wallet which also gives many services. We just need a Google account to use Google wallet.
Hi, I am newbie in this field and planning to start using bitcoins. Is it advisable for me to directly use mobile wallets or should I go for desktop wallet first? What are the pros and cons keeping in mind I am new to bitcoins.
As far as my knowledge goes, bitcoins are as yet not legal. Any form of currency currently used in India needs to be legalized by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and bitcoins are not so. There are not even any very clear cut regulatory guidelines as such on bitcoins, which are virtual currency. There are a whole lot of unresolved issues related to it, including its trading and payment system. Hence using bitcoins will be solely at your own risk. Ask yourself whether it is worth the risk.