Airtel To Offer Semi Closed Wallets – Mobile Payment Service

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Bharti Airtel, one of the leading emerging markets’ telcos, announced today that Reserve Bank of India has granted it license to offer semi Closed Wallet Services in India.

Bharti Airtel becomes the first telecom operator which has got licence to provide mobile financial services in India. However Other mobile service operators are also expected to start such services after securing licences.

The semi closed wallets are mobile payment instruments that are redeemable against products and services at certain merchant locations, which contract with the issuer to accept the payment instrument.These instruments do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption by the holder.

With the Semi closed wallets Airtel customers can exchange physical cash for virtual money which can be stored on a Mobile phone to pay for goods or services that cost less than Rs 5,000.

According to Airtel's media statement it is currently evaluating various options that this licence provides to find the best value proposition for subscribers. The company said it is imperative to design safe and convenient deployment before the semi closed wallet can be taken to market, and that it is difficult to give an exact time-line for launch.

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