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Key Trends in the Mobile Money Market

Key Trends in the Mobile Money Market 
Telecom growth has ushered in an era of ubiquitous connectivity. The mobile phone which has transcended from being a simple voice calling, text messaging device into the all-powerful infotainment and utility tool presents limitless possibilities. With a huge chunk of the Indian population still unbanked, the ubiquitous mobile platform can help extend services even to the poorest and in the remotest part of the country and provide utility services through mobile money and mobile banking driving financial inclusion. 
While the mobile money market in India is still in a nascent stage, the market presents itself with a huge opportunity with more than 900 million wireless subscribers and 200 million mobile internet users. With increasing wireless subscriptions, smartphones penetrations and mobile internet adoption, the mobile money market will continue to gain and proliferate in a market deprived of financial inclusion. 
Mobile banking and mobile payments are the two segments which have gained significant traction in the Indian market with services ranging from basic banking services to payment of utility bills, mobile recharges, domestic remittances, payments made for online purchases and booking movie / travel tickets. 
While some of the private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, YES Bank and Axis bank have reported a surge in mobile banking transactions, the public sector banks are not left behind with SBI taking the lead. 
Beyond the banking network, mobile money also provides a medium to the large section of migrant population in the country to remit money back home. More than half the country's population lives in villages and mobile money going forward can serve as a medium for remittances outside the banking network. 
Telco's in India have tied up with banks to provide mobile money transfer and payment services. Vodafone launched M-pesa in collaboration with ICICI Bank, whereas Bharti Airtel has launched Airtel money in collaboration with Axis Bank. Similarly, Idea Cellulars has partnered with Axis Bank for its mobile money services. 
Further, RBI has invited applications for payments bank license and we have the Telco's as well as third party service providers make application for the same. A payments bank license will allow cash withdrawal as well as international remittances. 
The progress made in the mobile money market has been limited because of low awareness among users, security related concerns, poor internet connectivity and stringent pols.icie But the market offers exciting opportunity and there exists a huge potential and need for innovative solutions can that help address the issue of financial exclusion. For widespread adoption and mass acceptance the stakeholders need to educate the users of the benefits and availability of such services and also alleviate any security related concerns that they may have. 
Further, the stakeholders need to come together and collaborate to facilitate an adequate mobile payments ecosystem.

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