Aircel, ICICI Bank join to launch Mobile Money services, initially in Tamil Nadu
Bangalore, February 7, 2013: Indian mobile provider Aircel has joined hands with ICICI Bank to launch of their Mobile Banking service - Mobile Money, running on Visa’s Mobile Managed Service.
Mobile Money aims at overcoming the challenges and meeting the financial needs of India’s unbanked, a majority of whom face many hurdles in managing their finances such as reliability of intermediaries, distance to formal banking infrastructure, legitimate KYC, and financial illiteracy. It launches with a range of financial services on a mobile phone such as cash deposits and cash withdrawals, money transfer to third parties, self-reload of prepaid mobile credit, and various utility bill payments. On sign-up, customers will be able to use the Mobile Money service instantly on any mobile phone even without a data connection service.
The service will be first available in Tamil Nadu to specifically cater for the needs of the large migrant working population from Tirunelveli now living and working in Chennai. Rollout to other parts of the state and rest of the country will happen during 2013.
Visa, the global payments technology company will deploy its Mobile Managed Service to host and manage the Mobile Money platform.
Says Geoff King, Head of Mobile Banking, Aircel: “ By partnering with ICICI bank and basing ‘Mobile Money’ on the Visa platform we have joined forces with two companies that have a strong pedigree in financial services, together with a great desire to deliver innovative financial service solutions to better meet the needs of the country’s unbanked. Aircel brings to the partnership not only our mobile network but just as importantly our attention and care in serving millions of customers every day with many millions of small cash transactions through our vast retailer and distributor setup.”
Adds Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank: “ICICI Bank has been leveraging technology to provide convenient and easily accessible banking services across the country in line with its financial inclusion initiative. The launch of Mobile Money is a part of this strategy, which will enable the bank to provide reliable banking services to millions of customers through retail outlets of Aircel. These far-flung retail outlets will take the basic banking services practically to the doorsteps of the customers extending the reach of our formal banking channels. We are happy with this tie-up as this will help the Bank to reach the unbanked population.”
“Visa has just taken the hard work out of mobile payments”, says Uttam Nayak, Visa’s Group Country Manager for South Asia, “Our new Mobile Managed Service removes the time, complexities and cost of setting up mobile payment services - and is built on Visa’s trusted and reliable platform.