For the uninitiated, 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. Airtel Money mall that offers mobile, DTH recharge, among others, is powered by Oxigen. 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.
Airtel currently offers three 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, Super account with a daily spending limit of Rs 25,000. 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.
How Is Airtel Money Performing?
It’s unclear how Airtel Money is performing and how many transactions per month it is handling. It should be noted that, Airtel has not reported on revenues or transaction details during its recent conference call with the investors. Instead, it clubs its revenues from Airtel Money, data, SMS, music, ring back tones in its Non-Voice revenues.
In its conference call, Airtel mentioned that Airtel has launched Airtel Money in 17 markets and that it has picked up quite well in a few African markets including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the company believes that both data and Airtel money will be significant revenue streams in the next 12 months.
The last data that we have on Airtel Money is from 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.
In February 2012, Airtel had announced that the service will be available in more than 7,000 merchant outlets in 300 cities across India. When we checked their website, Airtel now seems to be offering Airtel Money in 27 states in around 403 cities. Airtel Money’s merchants include any brick and mortar shops in a city. Adding 800 khidmat centers from J&K Bank, Airtel will get a massive network for its service.