Place: Mumbai. Time 7.30 am. It was raining cats and dogs. There was a power spike and the old television breathed its last. This was a catastrophe. The bread-winner was in Delhi. It would take at least a week for him to come back, and a week without a TV was unimaginable. The women in the house did not know anything about TVs and also did not have the money to buy a new one.

The ‘bread-winner’ was immediately called and some ‘constructive action’ demanded. By 3 pm, a new TV was up and running. None of the desperate family members had ventured out of the house.

The payment was transferred from Delhi to the dealer’s account in Mumbai. The dealer started making arrangements for delivering the TV once he received the payment transaction ID by email. Once the payment was through (within 2 hours), the dealer delivered the TV.

Mobile payments are not new, but more and more dealers are now ready to accept money transfers. Again, with many banks coming out with mobile apps and mobile sites, there is no need for someone to hunt for a computer to transfer money. Mobile-to-mobile transfers too are gaining ground.

Many dealers even say they are ready to accept money through IMPS (Interbank Mobile Payment Service). Banks that have IMPS allow you to transfer money instantly to anyone in any participating bank which is registered for IMPS. You can also receive money from anyone in a participating bank. The best part is that the transfer is almost instant. The dealer does not have to wait for settlements (in case of card transactions).

Banks like HDFC Bank that don’t have their own mobile apps operate through mobile sites and have also tied up with NGPay that allow IMPS transfers.

(This article was published on June 24, 2012)
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