On RBI’s Mobile Banking Guidelines – Interview with Sanjay Swamy, mChek

Continuing with our earlier thread on RBI’s mobile banking guidelines, here is an interview with Sanjay Swamy, CEO of mChek:

a. Your opinion on the RBI guidelines? – the earlier draft was considered too conservative and now that RBI has revised the transactional limit, do you think it’s the right ‘first step’?

SS: Absolutely – I am pleased to see the higher transaction limits for commerce and p2p money transfer. This is definitely a step in the right direction and a good starting point for the mobile payments industry.

b. Your concerns regarding the current guidelines?

SS: Nothing major – a few aspects remain to be played out and hopefully permissions, etc. can happen rapidly.

c. Coming to the most significant entity in the entire value chain, i.e. banks – are banks (esp. PSUs) really looking at mobile banking as a differentiator? (or just another channel?) – guidelines talks of setting up help desk/support for mobile banking.

SS: In the short-term it will be seen as an alternate channel for existing users – but in the long run, this will turn into the primary channel and the lowest cost channel for bringing more users into the banking system. IN many ways, the mobile phone will really bring banking to the masses – in an economically viable and convenient manner.

d. Extension to the earlier qn – In your opinion, what is the priority of mobile banking for banks (given the economic crisis and liquidity crunch?)?

SS: All the more important that banks lower their costs of customer service and interaction in order to have a viable business model. Mobile banking holds this promise for the banks .

d. Current opportunity that you see in mobile banking?

SS: Every individual who gets a cell phone is obviously a candidate!

e. What about Rural Mobile Banking? Current KYC norms aren’t suitable for rural banking. When do you think things will change?

SS: I believe the current norms are fine – there will need to be some simplifications over time but for now there is enough of an opportunity to get started.

Essentially, these guidelines seem to be a good starting point for companies and we do hope to see more action in this space.

What’s your take?

We did an interview with Sanjay 1.5 years back and it’s interesting to note how things have changed in the mobile banking world!

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