Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the state-run telecom company, on Friday launched a pre-paid card linked mobile wallet service which allows customers to transfer cash, pay for services and also withdraw cash up to Rs1 lakh.
The wallet service, named Speed Pay, allows a customer to load money even if he does not have a bank account as it can be done at any of BSNL outlets. The money loaded in the wallet can be transferred to an account and even withdrawn at branches or at BSNL outlets.
BSNL has developed this unique mobile wallet in partnership with IT firm Pyro. They have also collaborated with Visa, so that SpeedPay can be used as a debit card for shopping online or offline.
Given BSNL's massive infrastructure with outlets all over the country and their coverage, SpeedPay can be treated as a parallel banking ecosystem.
"Loading money into a mobile wallet from a bank account is an option. BSNL customers who don't have bank accounts can also load money at any BSNL retail outlet and ask the retailer to recharge their mobile wallet account and pay for various services," BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava said.
There will be one-per cent transaction charge if money from the wallet is transferred to other bank accounts or a there is cash withdrawal. No charge is levied for transferring money from wallet to wallet. There is a daily cash limit of Rs5,000 for withdrawal. But, if the customer is KYI (Know Your Customer) complaint, then daily limit can go up to Rs1 lakh.
As of now, BSNL has tied up with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank to roll out the services and around 1000 BSNL outlets in Andhra Pradesh have already started offering this service. Soon, this would be rolled out to 45,000 BSNL outlets in Andhra Pradesh, and then gradually pan-India. As per government officials, by the end of September, SpeedPay would be available across Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Although PM Modi's Jan Dhan Yojana exists to enable wider financial inclusion of rural population, but being mobile centric, and going by it's robust features, SpeedPay can be a game changer.
There are over twice the number mobile phone users in India, compared to bank account holders - against 930 million mobile phone users in India, there are only 400 million bank account holders, and of these 195 million are dormant accounts, and only 35 per cent of them have a debit card.