Indian market new-entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm is looking to put mobile money services at the heart of its proposition, as it looks to play “a crucial role in the digitalisation of payments in India”.
Speaking at the AGM of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and MD of the parent company, said: “Evidence from developed markets shows that mass adoption of digital payment solutions have significant positive impacts on the economy. It brings better transparency, improves financial inclusion, facilitates merchant business and drives growth of trade and commerce.”
“However, more than 95 per cent of retail transactions in India are still done using cash. Out of the 20 million or so merchants in the country, less than one million accept card-based payments. In turn, this lack of acceptance of digital payments by merchants means that customers remain wedded to cash,” he continued.
“Jio Money will play a crucial role in the digitalisation of payments in India, by offering a platform for ubiquitous, affordable, and secure digital payments,” the executive noted. “Our goal is to create a wide network of merchants, who use Jio Money so that most household payments can happen digitally.”
With Jio in the process of piloting connectivity services delivered via its new infrastructure, ahead of commercial launch later this year, the company is similarly advanced with the rollout of its payments proposition.
“I am pleased to share that the core Jio Money product and the end-to-end systems that support it are operational today. To begin with, we have launched the products within a few Reliance campuses and facilities. We expect to expand the Jio Money presence city-by-city, across the country, in phases, over the next few quarters,” Ambani said.
The operator is also working with the State Bank of India to apply for a payments bank licence, with the intention of offering services focused on the “financially excluded” if successful.