Movida, the 50/50 joint venture between Monitise and Visa in India, has signed an agreement with ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, to introduce a mobile m-payments and m-commerce service. The deal follows on from a similar one last year where HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, signed up to the same platform.
The new service will enable ICICI Bank payment card holders to pay bills, recharge prepaid airtime and buy cinema tickets from their mobile phone, anywhere, anytime over the Movida technology platform.
Movida can be accessed either via menu-based Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) GSM mobile protocol technology, or through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology available in multiple languages, which is an important consideration in such a diverse country as India. It is hoped these options will make accessing the new service easy as they can be used from any type of mobile phone, including older models, which should help consumer uptake.
Due to be rolled out this quarter by ICICI Bank for its payment card holders, the m-payment and online commerce service is designed to operate across all mobile networks using any payment card - covering both Visa, MasterCard and others.
Cardholders will be able to make payments through Movida’s secured connection after linking their payment card to their mobile phone number registered with ICICI Bank. Their card account information will be kept secure by a unique PIN number.
Mobile Payments and Services in India
Commenting on the announcement, Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director at ICICI Bank, said: “This tie-up with Movida provides an added facility in an array of mobile payment options that ICICI Bank [already] offers to its customers. We have seen a high level of demand from consumers to use their mobile phones for financial transactions. We are constantly innovating to meet this demand and empower our customers with solutions that offer greater choice and more convenience. This service by Movida will ensure they can get immediate access to a secure and simple solution that can be utilised even without an active internet connection [via IVR].”
According to Uttam Nayak, group country manager for India and South Asia at Visa, it means bank customers can use basic mobile phones to make payments like telecom recharge and utility bills, in a convenient and secure manner. “Movida also aligns to the national vision of making India a cashless society,” he added. “Movida’s services combine the strength and robustness of existing [Indian] infrastructure with the latest mobile payment technology to provide simple, secure services for everyone.”
The creation of the Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has certainly given India a strong base upon which to roll out this type of service with added verification and identity services also aiding the uptake of modern payment forms in India.
As Monitise’s group chief executive, Alastair Lukies, said: “India is an extremely dynamic market in which to offer our services, providing the ability to transform the lives of millions of consumers. We’ve seen a strong commitment from banks in the region to provide relevant payment services to their customers, and are excited to be working with ICICI Bank to make payments truly mobile for its customers.”