'Banks must promote pre-paid accounts'

Besides the removal of the cap on mobile transaction by RBI, a move likely to encourage several smartphone users to transfer money using their mobile devices, banks should promote pre-paid accounts to connect the un-banked, mobile payment providers Obopay has said.

 “Right now, financial inclusion is based on opening bank accounts by those outside the banking system,” said Obopay Inc CEO Deepak Chandnani. “But using pre-paid accounts would drive financial inclusion in a big way in India as it has done in other developing countries. We see this as a similar process to the pre-paid mobile subscription which changed the whole dynamics of mobile usage in the country.”

 Chandnani gave the example of Kenya and Uganda where  pre-paid account usage far outweighs bank accounts. Obopay had partnership with Nokia in India and also with Yes Bank and Union Bank to offer a wide range of mobile payments starting from topping up pre-paid mobile accounts to paying electricity bills. “One just have to provide the mobile number for the top-up and our backend system effects the top up,” Chandnani said, adding that the platform is serving customers in nearly 150 cities in the country so far.

 “The platform is agnostic to service providers. All that you need is a pre-paid account with access to your Yes Bank or Union Bank accounts.”

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