Friday, March 4, 2011

Now, use cellphone to pay for shopping

Mumbai: Soon bank account holders can make retail purchases by transferring funds from their account to the merchant’s using a basic mobile phone. Reserve Bank of India’s arm National Payments Corporation of India is putting in place a payment interface between consumers and merchants.
“Thirteen banks are part of the Interbank Mobile Payment System (IMPS) and 6.6 million customers have already been issued mobile money id (MMID)” said A P Hota, MD and CEO, NPCI. He said these customers could presently transfer money to any other bank account holder who has MMID. “At present, only peer-to-peer transfers can take place. We are now working at creating a system for payments to merchants,” said Hota.
The banks which are part of IMPS include most of the large private banks and several public sector banks. “Transactions up to Rs 1,000 can be done through SMS, which means that any mobile phone is IMPSenabled,” he said. But for higher-value transactions, the mobile phone has to be GPRS-enabled and should facilitate end-to-end encryption.
Speaking on financial inclusion at the annual banking technology conference organized by the IBA, Hota said that NPCI was pushing banks to extend mobile payments service to ‘no-frills’ customers.

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