In 2010, bharti airtel was granted the license to use the Semi Closed Wallet by the Reserve Bank of India (read: Airtel Gets RBI’s Nod for Mobile Payment Service [First Step to Mobile Currency]) and the company has added 2,200 merchants in Delhi/NCR (right from utility providers like NDPL, BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani, Indraprastha Gas, LIC to organized retailers such as Easy Day, Chalchitra, Yo China, Costa Coffee, Hair n Shanti, DT Cinemas, Fun Cinemas among others as well as local chemists and grocery stores). airtel money customers will also receive exclusive offers (right now offers on the website are mostly from airtel, but do expect airtel to get into ‘deals’ to create awareness of the service).
Essentially, this is not a semi closed wallet service (as allowed by RBI) that enables you to add money, but not withdraw (instead, make payments/buy goods and services).
Where can you use airtel money?
- Load cash: Load cash on your airtel mobile by visiting your nearest airtel retail outlet [Minimum is Rs. 10, Maximum is Rs. 5,000 and monthly limit stands at Rs. 50, 000].
- Pay bills & recharge: You will be able to use this cash in your mobile for making bill payments (electricity, gas, financial services, etc.) and recharge – Limits same as above.
- Shop & make payments: Instead of cash, pay over-the-counter merchants such as your nearest kirana store, chemist, etc using your mobile phone. You can even sit at home and pay for services like booking movie tickets online.
How To use airtel money
- Register by filling in the application form and submitting KYC documents (2 photocopies of proof-of-identity, 1 copy of proof-of-address and a passport size photograph).
- After the above, your existing airtel SIM will be upgraded to the new 64K airtel SIM with airtel money
- Activate your airtel money account by choosing your MPIN.
- Load cash into your airtel money account by visiting your nearest airtel retailer
- You are now ready to send commands through the airtel money application on your phone!
Airtel will charge a month subscription fee of Rs. 5/month and charges Rs. 5/payment.
Question to ponder: What happened to mChek partnership?