Mobile money transfer - from U.S. to India

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Reserve bank of India (RBI) has given in principal approval to Airtel and SBI to launch mobile money transfer (MMT) project in the country. RBI though has given the GSM based cellular operators the option to launch the financial services as ‘not-for-profit companies’ under section 25 of the Companies Act.

According to the sources, in spite of the RBI regulations, Bharti Airtel wanted to run the service ‘within the full framework of a corporation just like any other company.

Vodafone who has a tie-up with Citibank Corp for international money remittance, and has bought a controlling stake in Hutchisson-Essar are likely to start their money remittance services in India.

“Money transfer through mobile will generate great value and convenience for customers in India and across the world. We have sought assistance from RBI and other government bodies to understand the various regulatory requirements,” says the Bharti spokesperson. All the distributors, franchise and self-owned outlets of Bharti Airtel, which total about 5,000 in India, will act as the agents for this project.

The global GSMA association launched this MMT service in Barcelonia on February 2007. This service will allow the mobile users abroad to transfer money electronically via the handset directly and instantaneously to a mobile user in India without the use of bank account. Since India has over 170 million mobile users against just 70,000 bank branches, most of the workers of Indian origin will benefit out of this service.

“The MMT project is particularly relevant and important for India which is the largest recipient of international remittances from about 20 to 25 million Indians working across 130 countries,” says Dayanidhi Maran, Minister for Communication and IT while launching the service in Barcelonia.

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