Name of the product
Airtel Money by Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of telecom service provider Bharti Airtel Ltd.
What is it?
Airtel Money is a facility available only on Airtel SIM cards. You load some cash on the SIM card. Using this cash, you can pay utility bills and even shop at merchant outlets that have gone live with the system. As of now, the facility is available in Chennai, Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
How to avail the facility
If you have bought an Airtel SIM card after May in Delhi and NCR, except Gurgaon, and after April in Chennai, you will have the new facility embedded in your SIM card. For Gurgaon, the facility is available on SIM cards bought after January. Those who took it earlier would need to swap their SIMs with a new one to subscribe to the facility. The exchange will happen at a nominal fee of Rs25, which will be refunded and added to your mobile wallet later.
Once you are upgraded to a new SIM or buy a new SIM, you need to fill a separate form to activate the Airtel Money facility. You would need to undergo the know-your-client process.
After your documentation is over, the retailer will activate the wallet for you. You will receive an SMS asking you to reset your four-digit default secure mobile personal identification number (MPIN). Your MPIN password will authorize transactions and help load cash; it works as a security number.
After this, pay cash over the counter and get it loaded into your mobile wallet. The facility will work only at outlets that have a tie-up with Airtel.
How to make payments through it
Go to the Airtel Money application on your phone and select “pay shop” from the payment options. It will then prompt you to type the retailer’s 10-digit mobile number. After that, enter the amount to be paid. You will then need to confirm the details you have already provided. Enter your Airtel Money MPIN then. The confirmation for the payment goes to you as well as the merchant simultaneously. You can make transactions for a minimum of Rs10 up to Rs5,000. Though the Reserve Bank of India has extended the limit for mobile wallets to Rs50,000, Airtel Money has kept Rs5,000 as the outer limit to begin with.
You have to pay Rs150 to sign up for the facility. Of that, Rs100 is your initial deposit, which is loaded into your wallet, and Rs50 is the registration charge. If you don’t transact for six months, your account will get deactivated and you have to pay the activation fee again. For payment of utility bills, you would be charged Rs5 per transaction.
The facility ensures that you don’t have to go to an ATM or even carry your wallet every time you want to shop. Though there are similar mobile-based prepaid payment instruments in the market, this is the first telecom company to offer this facility. These are still early days and mobile wallets on the whole are set to pave the way forward in terms of transactional ease.