Mobile Payments Gain Traction Among India’s Poor
Thursday, December 5, 2013
After only four years in operation, Pakistan’s wireless network, Easypaisa, is moving some $3.5 billion annually. In Bangladesh, where the bKash wireless payment system has been operating for only two years, the transaction rate is $4 billion annually.
India has been proceeding more slowly, but the pace is quickening. According to the latest tallies from the nation’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, the number of wireless money transfers has more than doubled since September 2012, moving the annualized equivalent of $3.2 billion. Lately, the two best-financed efforts, Airtel Money and Vodafone M-Pesa, have begun expanding across the country. And because of the nation’s huge population, broad adoption of cellphones and some of the lowest airtime rates in the world, even a modest conversion to mobile money in India could make South Asia the world’s largest wireless-transfer economy.