Indian mobile operator Tata Docomo is rolling out its mRupee payments and remittance service to a further 26 cities and over 4,000 retail outlets by the end of its current fiscal year (31 March 2014).
The service, which is also open to non-Tata Docomo subscribers, is currently offered in 11 cities and over 1,700 retail outlets.
mRupee has a number of features. It enables subscribers to send remittance payments either directly from their own handset or by depositing cash and providing details of recipient at a designated retailer.
In addition, the service can be used to pay utility bills, shop online, on mobile and at retail outlets, although it is unclear what underlying technology would be used for the latter transactions.
mRupee is available via web, WAP, app, USSD and IVR.
The service is offered by MMP Mobi Wallet Payment Systems Limited (MMPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Docomo.
The operator’s partner is ICICI Bank which is already working with Vodafone on its M-Pesa deployment in India, a direct rival to Tata Docomo’s service. Indian operators are hoping mobile money will turn into a valuable, additional service.
Tata Docomo will also work with other companies in its parent’s group to develop add-on services alongside the money offering.