Overseas Indians, transfer funds through the SMS!

By agencies   |   Friday, 16 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The Cellular Operations Association of India and the Ministry of Communications have associated to work on the modalities of fund transfers through SMS’s, making it easier for Non-resident Indians (NRI’s). This would enable Indians to collect the money sent by the NRI friends and relatives from any cellular operator’s nodal office spread across the country.

Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran and the GSM Association held a meeting to decide on the proposed system, which is still in its infancy. Several issues are yet to be embarked upon before the launch. The move is expected to drastically reduce the present transaction costs levied by banks and money-transfer companies. Indian operators are looking at models used in countries like Philippines where a large population of expatriates use the SMS mode to transfer funds.

The Department of Telecom has agreed to examine the prospects and funnel the concepts with help from other ministries. The Ministry of Finance is yet to clear the proposal and it has to come within the purview of FEMA, informed sources. The Department of Post, which has associations with money-transfer companies like Western Union, may also be partnered in the cellular-venture.

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