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RCom, ICICI Bank tie up for money transfer over mobiles

Rajesh S Kurup  |  Mumbai 

Telecom company Reliance Communications and private financial institution ICICI Bank are close to offering money transfer services over mobile phones. The service, first of its kind in the country, is expected to be launched shortly, if not within a week.
The move is of importance as other cellular providers are likely to follow suit, ushering in an m-commerce (mobile commerce) revolution in the country.
The two have completed trial runs in metroes and leading circles across the country, according to sources close to the development.
The new service will enable ICICI Bank customers to transfer funds to other account holders registered with the financial institutions website.
A customer of the bank can transfer up to Rs 5,000 per transaction, using Reliance Communications' pre- and post-paid services. The service will allow multiple transfers, enabling subscribers to transfer higher amounts to other accounts of ICICI Bank.
When contacted, a Reliance Communications spokesperson confirmed the development. He also added the company was looking at promoting mobile commerce as a value-added service (VAS).
At present, ICICI Bank has over 24 million customers and Reliance Communications has around 37 million subscribers. The Anil Ambani group company's m-commerce services include bill payments, railway and airline ticketing, shopping, auctions, movie and event ticketing among others.
There are around 180 million cellular users in the country, but mobile commerce is still a nascent industry. This is because India is primarily a cash economy.
However, the segment is expected to post rapid growths with subscribers beginning to use SMSEs to buy, sell and book movie tickets.

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First Published: Wed, September 05 2007. 00:00 IST