Published on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, an article in the New York Times makes note of the growing importance of mobile payments to India’s lower socioeconomic classes. The article features a fascinating profile of one user in Siddharthnagar, a location in rural India, and then discusses the increasing economic relevance that mobile payments are becoming to India’s poorer populations.
The article mentions the most rapidly growing new venture in this scene, Money-on-Mobile, a now majority owned subsidiary of Calpian, a publicly traded company that provides to the merchant community an integrated suite of payment processing services and related software enabling products. The article also notes that mobile payments in India can grow to $350 billion annually. Money-on-Mobile is currently supported by over 167,000 retail locations in India, and has been accessed by over 75 million unique users since its inception in April 2012. On account of its extensive national population, across-the-board adoption of mobile phones, and holding of some of the lowest airtime rates found worldwide, India is emerging as a strong contender for making South Asia the world’s largest wireless-transfer economy.
Even though it has been in operation for less than three years, Money-on-Mobile has been accessed by four times more users than Kenya’s M-Pesa’s own. It is also supported by twice as many outlets.
Commenting on the article mention, Calpian President & CEO Harold Montgomery said: “We are excited to see Money-on-Mobile being recognized by a publication of the stature of the New York Times. We believe that this article is a reflection of the rapid increase in use of mobile payments throughout Asia and Africa, and it is our hope that additional awareness will lead to increased usage and ultimately significant growth of Calpian’s Money-on-Mobile business.”
Calpian recently was approved by the Finance Ministry of the Government of India, through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, to own up to 74 percent majority share in Money-on-Mobile. Furthermore, Money-on-Mobile was recently awarded two prestigious industry awards, The FIPS Award and The Aegis Graham Bell Award for Innovation, for its offering of exceptional financial services that benefit India’s developing economy and for its mobile payments innovation.
Money-on-Mobile’s prepaid payment solution is particularly attractive to less well-to-do Indian consumers because most of them do not have access to banking accounts or conventional forms of credit. The subsidiary’s service makes it easy for these consumers to engage in money transfers and enables them to acquire funds to pay bills with ease.
The New York Times article can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/business/international/mobile-payments-gain-traction-among-indias-poor.html
For more information on Calpian, please visit: www.calpian.com
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