Mobile payments platform, Beam Money, has launched a mobile wallet app for the iPhone, called Beam Wallet. The app will allow iPhone users to use the Beam Money service on their phones. According to the company, the Beam App will enable users to recharge Mobile and DTH accounts across service providers such as Aircel, Airtel, BSNL, Idea, MTS, MTNL Delhi and Mumbai, Reliance, Tata Indicom and Tata Docomo, Vodafone, Videocon, Uninor, Tata Sky, Videcon D2H, Airtel Digital, Sun Direct, Reliance Big, and Dish TV. The app also allows Gold members (members who provide KYC documents) to transfer money.
How to use: After downloading the app, users can register for the service and are assigned a Secure Personal Identification Number (SPIN) used to authorize transactions in conjunction with the Registered Mobile Number (RMN) of the user. Users can then load funds into their account using their credit/debit card or a net banking account, to purchase Beam Money from the Beam website which is loaded in their Beam Account instantly.
The company mentions that it will offer in App purchases for the iPhone app soon. We were not able to register for the service, so we couldn’t check but we believe that to conform with Apple’s policies, Beam would not be able to offer an external link for top-ups within the app. Users can also top-up with physical Beam cards which can be bought from one’s local Beam retailer. Users can make bill payments from the mobile phone. The iPhone app offers essentially offers telecom and DTH recharges, and money transfer (only for Gold members).
We were not able to register for the service and received an error, so we are not sure if the app works properly, at this point in time. We’d like to a see a wider implementation of the mobile wallet with support for direct merchant transfers and utility payments. DTH and mobile recharges can be easily done with apps like PayTM* and MobiKwik. Also, banks offer their own mobile apps with support for mobile recharges and utility payments. Prepaid wallets are useful for people who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards, but we’re not sure if iPhone users would fall under that particular group.
Beam claims to be working with more than 50,000 partners across India, reaching out to more than 1.4 crore customers. It offers services like remote payments, telecom and DTH recharge, rail, air and bus bookings, cinema tickets, utility payments, among others. Beam competes with the likes of Airtel Money, My Mobile Payments, which had launched a semi-closed m-wallet in November 2011, Loop Mobile which partnered with ZipCash to offer a mobile payments service, and Nokia Money, which had shut down earlier this year, but has been acquired by mobile financial services firm FINO. Recently, State Bank of India had also launched Mobicash Easy, a prepaid mobile wallet service that allows users to transfer funds and make bill payment among others.
*Disclosure: PayTM is an advertiser with MediaNama