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TimesOfMoney Plans Domestic Mobile Remittance Service

TimesofMoney, the digital payments service provider from BCCL (the Times of India group) intends to expand its payment services by entering mobile and domestic remittances services, reports PTI (via The Hindu Business Line). The company informs that plans are under work, and that it has yet to approach the Reserve Bank Of India for permission.

We’d been told by the company in 2009 that it had applied for a prepaid payments license, and judging by this RBI notice, it appears that the company did receive a license, only to surrender it in October 2010. The RBI bulletin reads:

October 1, 2010

The TimesofMoney Ltd., 4th Floor, Times Tower Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (West), Mumbai–400013 has, on September 23, 2010, voluntarily surrendered the Certificate of Authorisation given by the Reserve Bank of India. The Reserve Bank of India had, on April 05, 2010, issued Certificate of Authorisation (34/2010) to the TimesofMoney Ltd. under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for operating Payment System for issuance of Pre-paid Payment Instruments.

TimesOfMoney’s Remittance Services

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TimesOfMoney offers Remit2India and Remit2Home, money remittance services. The former is a India based remittance service while the latter is global, however, it does not offer money transfer in the domestic market. At the moment, domestic remittance services are mostly offered through banking correspondent tie-ups, since the RBI has enforced strict guidelines and require KYC (know your customer) documentation. Although the central bank had proposed relaxations in the guidelines, and had removed the Rs 50,000 cap on mobile transfers, mobile money hasn’t really picked up in India.

The company also offers business solutions like DirecPay, a payment gateway and iExchange, an online remittance tracker. For mobile payments, TimesOfMoney already has a partnership with PayMate, for its DirecPay, for online merchants. In addition to this, it runs Window2India, a retail shopping site and OutRemit, a RBI approved money transfer service offering online tuition fee transfers to educational institutions abroad.

Nikhil adds:

TimesOfMoney had also launched an online wallet service called Wallet365 in 2006, which was stopped by the RBI. One thing we do know about is that they’ve been ready with mobile products since 2006: I remember seeing a demo of a Wallet 365 mobile application in 2006, which used SMS as a bearer.

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