BSNL to launch mobile money transfer


Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) plans to launch in the near future a mobile banking platform that will help a mobile subscriber send money orders electronically through SMS.

In the first phase of BSNL’s plan, anyone who wishes to send money through the money (order) transfer service will have to go to his nearest post office and transfer the money by SMS. The SMS will contain a unique code. The person who receives this SMS can go to his nearest post office and collect the money by showing the code, writes Bibhu Ranjan Mishra. This process is expected to save a lot of money as the SMS will reach in real time. This will also help those who do not have a proper address for physical delivery of the money order.

In the next stage of BSNL’s plans, a person will be able to use his mobile phone for buying goods at the local kirana shops or any other store, with the help of an electronic authorisation from his bank on the mobile phone. BSNL board director (consumer mobility) R K Agarwal said the platform had been test-piloted in Chandigarh and the state-run telecom operator expects to roll out the service in association with the postal department, after getting the Reserve Bank of India’s approval.

‘The real revolution is going to come when we launch our mobile banking services, on which BSNL is actively working,’ Agarwal told India’s Business Standard. ‘We have test-piloted a platform in Chandigarh, on which money could be transferred electronically through money orders by sending an SMS.’ Agarwal said RBI was cautious in its guidelines for mobile banking, as a result of which the proposed roll-out would happen only in a phased manner. ‘RBI has a cautious policy as it has to check for frauds that may occur,’ he added.

BSNL intends to help users buy merchandise with electronic authorisation from banks. Agarwal said SBI and YES Bank had come forward to participate in BSNL’s mobile banking service platform. Mobile banking is a concept where you tie up with different banks and system aggregators. ‘We have already tied up some system integrators, including Obopay,’ he added.