Bharti Airtel has announced the pan-India launch of its mobile wallet service Airtel Money through its wholly owned subsidiary Airtel M Commerce Services Limited (AMSL). The announcement follows Airtel money’s initial pilot in Gurgaon and the service launch in Chennai in May 2011, followed by Delhi in June 2011. Airtel claims that the service will be available in 7,000+ merchant outlets in 300 cities across India.

Airtel Money is a semi-closed mobile wallet service which allows Airtel customers to pay utility bills, recharge their phones, shop at merchant outlets and make online transactions using their mobile phones. It also allows users to make instant money transfers between one Airtel money wallet to another and to bank accounts across the country. Airtel claims that Airtel money is India’s first mobile based service to offer such instant money transfers.

According to the data received by MediaNama via a Right to Information request filed with the Reserve Bank of India, Airtel Money was handling around 1665 transactions in April 2011, with the total transaction size being Rs 1,56,456, at an average of Rs 93.97 per transaction. However, it should be noted that the service was available only as pilot in Gurgaon during that period.

Registration: Airtel mobile customers can sign up for the service by registering for an Express Account by dialling *400# from their mobile phones or walking into one of the 15,000 plus airtel money outlets across the top 300 cities of India and submitting the requisite KYC documents (2 photocopies of proof-of-identity, 1 copy of proof-of-address and a passport size photograph).

Airtel currently offers two types of accounts: Express account with a daily spending limit of Rs 10,000 and Power account with a daily spending limit of Rs 50,000. While Express account allows one to pay utility bills and mobile recharges, Power account allows one to shop at merchant outlets, transact online and make money transfers.

Partners: Airtel claims to have partnered with over 1,800 brands across the country, including utility providers, state electricity boards like BSES, Reliance Energy, Indraprastha Gas, telecom (BSNL/MTNL) and insurance (LIC) and mutual funds, organized retailers such as DT Cinemas, Fun Cinemas, Megamart, Univercell, Apollo Pharmacy among others as well as local chemists and grocery stores.

It has also partnered with e-commerce companies such as Flipkart, Yatra, and Letsbuy to offer Airtel money as one of the alternative payment modes. In order to incentivize the customers to use Airtel Money, Airtel also added that it will be offering various discounts and offers at its merchant outlets across the country.

Other Players: My Mobile Payments had launched a semi-closed m-wallet in November 2011. Loop Mobile had recently partnered with ZipCash to offer a mobile payments service. Nokia launched its mobile wallet service called Nokia Money in December last year.

Our previous coverage of Airtel Money:
Airtel Money Launched In Delhi-NCR; 1665 Txns In April 2011, Rs 1.5 Lakh
Airtel Money Launches In Chennai; Delhi Next
Airtel Launches Airtel Money: Prepaid Cash On Mobile; Charges, Transaction Limits
Airtel Granted License To Offer Cash Card Services In India