Aircel offers ‘Mobile Money’
The Telecom operator Aircel has launched a new service called ‘Mobile Money’ in collaboration with ICICI Bank and Visa to enable its customers transfer money, pay bills and withdraw cash by using only their mobile phones—without having to make a trip to the bank or an ATM. It is similar to Vodafone’s M-Pesa service which first pioneered to great success in Africa.
The service will be initially rolled out in Tamil Nadu, specifically for the Chennai – Tirunelveli corridor – to help migrant labourers send back money to their villages.
How does it work?
A person who wishes to transfer money from A location to B destination will have to deposit the money with a correspondent in the A area, after which an SMS is sent to the recipient confirming the transaction details. The recipient has to merely go to a banking correspondent in their respective area (B) to retrieve the cash.
This plan will work even if both parties have no ICICI bank account, with the minimum amount needed to start an account being Rs. 100. The company will make money by charging commission ranging from 1.5 to 3% on each transaction.