Idea Money: Mobile Banking Facility Of Idea Cellular Goes Live


Idea Cellular, India’s third largest telecom company, has finally made live it’s mobile banking service: Idea Money. After Airtel, Tata, Reliance and Vodafone, Idea is the 5th telecom company which has ventured into mobile banking platform.

Using this platform, existing Idea users can pay their monthly bills, recharge their pre-paid accounts, send money to other Idea users, pay utility bills and more. In December last year, RBI had approved their application for launching mobile banking subsidiary: Idea Mobile Commerce Services for a period of 5 years. After 8 months of this approval, the services are finally going to be launched.

Idea Money

Existing Idea customers can dial *400# to register themselves with this service. However, when we tried to register(with Idea post paid connection), we received this error message: “User is not active or Registered in the Mobiquity Application”.

This error message suggests that Idea may have partnered with Mahindra Comviva’s mobile wallet solutions: Mobiquity which allows organizations to use mobile as a wallet and perform mobile banking related services. However, Idea has not confirmed this collaboration.

Once Idea Money is officially launched (there has been no official launch notification from Idea regarding this new service), the users would be able to log on the system.

How Will It Work?

In order to use mobile banking, the service provider must provision a connection with bank accounts. Considering that Idea already has collaboration with Axis Bank regarding mobile banking, it is being speculated that it will form the base of Idea Money. Idea and Axis had inked a deal way back in 2011 when they had announced ‘mobile based financial inclusion’ initiative: Idea MyCash.

Such collaboration is indeed fruitful, as going forward, Idea customers can use this mobile banking facility to shop online/offline and book tickets.

Is This A Payment Bank?

Idea Money is being introduced at a time when the government has allowed telecom companies to establish small banks and payment banks having limited capabilities related with financial transactions. Such niche banks can accept deposits, remittance of funds and more.

Although not yet verified, but Idea Money can be converted into a Small Bank and Payment Bank as it fulfills almost all the necessary requirements of the government.

As of October 2013, there were total of 7.7 million transactions using mobile banking, amounting to Rs 1964 crore, every month. The average amount of a mobile transaction is roughly Rs 2000, and this amount is increasing at a rate of 10% every month. Certainly mobile wallet and mobile payment is a platform which is witnessing incredible growth in India, and this new initiative by Idea will certainly help to sprout it’s growth in India.

We will keep you updated as we receive more information.

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