“It is estimated that only 13% of the world’s money resides in physical form. Everything else is digital”. –Unknown
Don’t we all love to be in a world where everything is dynamic? Aren’t we all sick and tired of carrying credit cards, debit cards and cash in our wallet? Don’t we all dream of a day where every transaction is done by a common platform with a single device? The wait I think is getting shorter by the day – Thanks to the entrepreneurial startups like Oxigen, Obopay, Easy Bill and Suvidha.
In a move towards cash less transactions, electronic payment enabler companies are introducing the kirana shop around the corner to be a e-retailer. Dubbed as e-Wallet this new facility will provide cash less way of paying all your bills. The common denominator is your cell phone. The e-Wallet works with your mobile phone to pay your bills. Though no clear information is there, I am guessing the mobile number is tied up with your bank account and you make a purchase by showing your mobile. This is pending RBI guidelines to be implement. The service will be rolled to Mumbai and Chennai to start with.
E-Wallet is betting on 2 things:
- Organized retail cannot match the personalized services of Kirana stores
- People will make frequent purchases more often than you think (against your weekly or monthly purchases).
I agree with them on both accounts. Few would disagree that the kirana stores have to re-invent themselves to combat the threat of organized retailers like Big Bazaar, More, Subiksha etc… With Wal-Mart’s (a joint venture with Bharti enterprises) entry to India slated for 2009, it would only make sense for the small retailers to adopt technology for consumer’s convenience.
May be unlocking your car with a mobile phone in India is few year away, but paying your bills and making your wallet lighter (thanks to e-Wallet) will approach to a kirana store near you, faster than you think.
Banks are moving toward electronic bills to reduce paper clutter and the rest is moving swiftly to reduce cash clutter. I love it.