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Options to shop with your mobile increase

Options to shop with your mobile increase
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First Published: Mon, Apr 18 2011. 09 01 PM IST

Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
Updated: Mon, Apr 18 2011. 09 01 PM IST
Plastic money has helped wallets shed a lot of weight. Technology has taken a step ahead and enabled you to get rid of the wallet completely.
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) taking a proactive role in popularizing mobile payments and beginning to issue the necessary licences, and mobile banking becoming popular by the day, you may soon get hooked on to the facility if you haven’t already.
Shyamal Banerjee/Mint
Last week, Corporation Bank launched a mobile wallet, known as YPayCash, a mobile payment platform along with eMudhra Consumer Services Ltd. At the launch function, Ramnath Pradeep, chairman and managing director, Corporation Bank, said, “Mobile banking has become very popular as it creates a convenient and fast financial transactional channel. We are glad to provide this secure mobile payment platform.”
A few other banks also offer mobile wallets. These include Yes Bank Ltd and Union Bank of India. Airtel is the only telecom company to have been granted the licence by RBI to provide a similar service through Airtel Money.
What’s the facility
The facility being provided by Corporation Bank is currently restricted to person-to-merchant establishment payments. In other words, it cannot be used for person-to-person fund transfers but only to make payments to retailers.
The payment solution has currently gone live in Mumbai and Bangalore where the bank has almost 16,000 point of sales (PoS) terminals. However all these PoS have not gone live with the facility and the bank expects them to do so in the coming months. Existing Corporation Bank account holders who have signed up for the payment solution can make use of the facility at merchandise outlets that have gone live with the system.
How to get it
If you are an existing Corporation Bank account holder, just walk into a bank branch and apply for the facility. Once your number is added to the system, you will get an SMS with a link in it. Click on it to install the client application. The first time you log in, you will be prompted to create an alphanumeric password.
You can either ask the bank to maintain a fixed amount in your mobile wallet, request for periodic transfer of a fixed amount from your savings account or do a top-up through your cellphone same as in a prepaid connection. Currently, the limit is Rs 5,000.
How to transact
In order to initiate the transaction, you have to log in to the client application installed on your cellphone and key in the amount to be paid. The application will then generate a unique 2-dimensional bar code. This bar code captures your personal data such as your account number, phone number, time scan and certain other details. The merchant will then photograph the bar code from the bank’s client application installed on his cellphone and the payment is complete. Both you and the merchant will get an SMS alert, stating the amount paid and that the payment has been successful. The best part is while transacting, you don’t need to share any personal details such as your account number, user identity or name with the retailer.
Where to use
You can use this to make payments at retail outlets. Eventually, you would be able to use it to pay utility bills and for other transactions. Says Ravi Jagannathan, managing director and CEO, eMudhra Consumer Services, “What we are looking at is a whole ecosystem that will allow you to do a host of transactions as it evolves. In fact, we are also in talks with several other banks to get them on board. We expect three of them to go live by June-end.” More banks coming on board could also mean inter-bank transactions, he adds.
Says Jagannathan, “You will receive an SMS alert for each and every transaction, so in case you have been unable to track your expenses, then you also have a record of your transactions and expenses.” So now you need not worry about having to count the exact change when shopping.
harshada.k@livemint.com
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First Published: Mon, Apr 18 2011. 09 01 PM IST