MChek Aims to Grow 10-fold in Five Years with Telecom Majors

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bangalore: Sanjay Swamy has hit it off with the big daddies of telecom and banking— Bharti Airtel Ltd, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank Ltd—offering their customers options to make payments over the increasingly ubiquitous mobile phone.

The cheery Swamy heads Bangalore-based start-up mChek India Payment Systems Pvt. Ltd. Its payment feature comes inlaid on every subscriber identity module (SIM) card issued by Airtel and Tata Docomo, allowing customers to use it through a built-in menu rather than a text message or mobile Internet…

MChek was incubated at Mumbai-based technology company A Little World Pvt. Ltd.

In 2006, it was spun out as a separate entity with funding from venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson and angel investor Rajesh Jain; Jain brought in Swamy to run the show.

The company, which today employs at least 100 employees, has five areas of focus—bill payments, Internet shopping, over-the-counter purchases at merchant establishments, mobile banking and enabling payments for the bottom of the pyramid.

Mobile commerce started in India some four years ago but failed to take off for varied reasons, including regulatory clearance, low telephone penetration, expensive mobile phones, lack of applications that work on all phones and customer reluctance.

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