Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mobile payment in India: learning from M-Pesa

Researchers at the Indian Center for Micro Finance have turned to work on Kenya's M-Pesa in an effort to understand how similar payment schemes might be implemented in India. In a recent article, IMTFI fellow Deepti Kc and IFMR programme head Mudita Tiwari asked what lessons can be taken from the vast amount of work that has already accumulated on Kenya's M-Pesa scheme and how they can help India's emerging mobile payments system.

Despite initiatives by a number of different partners, the researchers describe the uptake of mobile payment technology among the low-income population of India, as "cautious". Over- regulation, mobile companies targeting the rich and the need for internet based transactions are given as reasons for the lack of a strong client base among India's poor.

Nonetheless they are optimistic that lessons can be taken from Kenya's M-Pesa to tap into this market. They suggest that client protection and regulation that ensures profitability are key. They also believe a dedicated fund from the Reserve Bank of India should be created in order to promote the use of mobile payments among low-income clients and incentivize private partners to develop platforms to reach them.


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  2. Well, customer protection is good but over regulation of the Mobile Money market may breed resentment in acceptability & uptake of the service. Thus, there is need for a balance to ensure growth of the Mobile Money market as it thrives best when left to market dynamism of demand & supply. Of course with government involvement regards regulation of service providers since the good here traded is money!