After partnering with mChek for SMS and online payments, Bharti Airtel is now offering m-commerce services on a voice portal 543219. mChek is a mobile and e-commerce provider that has tie ups with various banks, payments are secured using a six digit key. Its competitors include Obopay and Paymate. A list of payment companies and tie ups is here.
The Airtel IVR will allow mobile users to pay their mobile bills, top up their prepaid cards, Airtel’s DTH DigitalTV accounts, recharge Delhi-Gurgaon expressway toll tags, pay insurance premiums, buy gifts, tickets, etc. mChek has tie ups with online merchants including Indiatimes Shopping, bus ticketing service Redbus, HomeShop18, FutureBazaar and travel portal Yatra.
Airtel prepaid and postpaid users will first have to sign up with mChek, link their VISA / Mastercard credit card to the mChek account and receive a six- digit PIN which will be used to approve transactions.
RBI’s mobile payment guidelines may have led to an increase in tie ups between banks, service providers and payment companies but since January, when Airtel and mChek announced the milestone of one million customers, there has been no update and the spokesperson was unwilling to share the number of users.
The IVR will be operated by Airtel, which makes it the face of m-commerce transactions for its 105.17 million users (as of July, 2009). Its success will depend on quality of service, offers and deals.