Telecom operator Idea Cellular in partnership with Axis Bank, has formally launched Idea MyCash, its financial inclusion platform offering banking facilities including money transfer on mobile. Under the arrangement, Idea retail outlets will act as Customer Service Points. The two had earlier signed an MoU by virtue of which Idea Cellular had become a Business Correspondent to Axis Bank, to extend branchless banking to the un-banked and under banked population segments.
Through MyCash, Idea will provide basic banking services like cash deposit, cash withdrawal and balance enquiry and will also enable money transfer between the migrant population in urban areas to their beneficiaries back home. The remittance facility will be initially offered in the Dharavi – Allahabad remittance corridor and will be later extended to other remittance corridors.
As a banking correspondent, Idea will facilitate in the opening of No Frills Savings Bank accounts for its subscribers through its retail outlets. Axis Bank customers will be able to send and receive money through Idea’s M-Commerce platform. Beneficiaries will be able to facilitate a Cash Out at any Idea retail outlet.
Although its not clear whether the launch is on a country wide basis, Idea declares that its the first to go “live”. There have been other such announcements from Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. While Vodafone signed up to become ICICI Bank’s business correspondent, Airtel formed a JV with SBI to offer banking services, which it said would be incorporated by 31st March. Airtel also launched Airtel Money, a prepaid cash on mobile service, in Gurgaon.
As we previously said, we expect this to eventually (within a few years) be an all-banks-all-telcos phenomenon. That’s when Telecom Operators will become like ATM’s, and you’ll be able to withdraw money from any bank account from any retail outlet.
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