Bharti Airtel, a leading global Telecommunications company, launched its e-wallet known as Airtel Money Wallet on 18 August 2012, in order to support Indian Government's Cashless Revolution and Digital India Programme. In India, it is the first payment bank to integrate UPI (Unified Payment Interface) on a digital platform. It helps their customers to make payments using “My Airtel app” or Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). It is available across 300 key cities. Customers can use this app for various purposes such as, to recharge their mobile phones and DTH services, to pay their Electricity bills, shop online, pay bills online and to make online transactions from anywhere at any time with a single click. The main objective of this e-wallet is to help the unbanked population of country to use Mobile Wallet.
Airtel Money is the main product of Airtel Payments Bank. It was the very first bank to get the payment bank license from RBI. This is not only a good replacement to cash or card payment options, but also offers its customers, the convenience in transferring from this e-wallet to other wallets. It became popular after demonetization policy in 2016. It helps the customers to access an equivalent, effective and trustworthy experience. It acts as a solution to innumerable problems faced in the traditional banking system. In traditional banking, users suffer from waiting in long queues, face difficulties in travelling longer distances and have to maintain various documentation. But this product provides simple, convenient and more intuitive Online Payment System. It makes the payment cashless and seamless through Digital payment.
Cashless or e-banking:
- Airtel Payments Bank provides withdrawals without the use of ATM cards.
- Airtel has made partnership with Empays to enable 100,000 IMT-enabled ATMs with cardless payments across the country. With this, users can make transactions through their mobile phone with cardless cash technology of Empays, known as Instant Money Transfer.
- Through this technology, users can withdraw money by themselves and can send money to other users.
- Customers can make the first two transactions free of cost, after which 35% transaction fee will be charged.
- Customers from the remote areas of the country can also use this service easily. It provides quicker, easier, cashless and paperless transaction with secure banking system.
Operates without bank account:
- Users can register and operate it without having a bank account in their name which is an added advantage.
- Generally, banks want their users to maintain a minimum account balance ranging from Rs. 1,000/- to Rs. 10,000/- or more. But with this app, there is no need to worry about maintaining a minimum account balance.
- This app is the best option for those who do not own a bank account or does not hold Internet banking, or users without credit or debit cards.
- M-PIN is the secret number password used to secure the e-wallet. Without M-PIN, the wallet cannot be accessed.
- Customers must keep their M-PIN privately. They should not share their M-PIN with anyone. It is much similar to the ATM pin number.
- If the user forgets their M-PIN, they can change it easily. Customers need to enter the M-PIN every time for each transaction, so that the account will be safer, even though their mobile phone is lost.
- In case of changing the M-PIN, customers have to register a secret pin with Airtel Money in advance, by dialling the USSD code *222*9# for registering the secret word and should follow their instructions.
- Customers can reset a new M-PIN by re-entering the secret word previously registered with it.
Works without Internet connection:
- Since Airtel money works on USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology, it can be accessed even without Internet connection.
- USSD is a technology that transmits information through GSM network channels - these channels are normally used for voice calls via mobile phone. USSD technology facilitates sessions of communication through GSM.
- USSD-based communication can be used for checking customer's account balance, generating mini statement, fund transfer via MMID (a code allotted by banks on mobile banking registration), IFSC code or Aadhaar number.
- Some of the other services that NUUP offers are generating OTPs, M-PIN, and VAS such as query service on Aadhaar mapper which checks the seeding status of your Aadhaar with your bank account.
Offers and deals:
Airtel Money provides many offers for making Online payments. Companies like Flipkart, Myntra, Amazon, Snapdeal and many other shopping Applications and e-commerce companies provides many discounts, Cashback offers and many other exciting offers.
Used anywhere at any time:
- Airtel Money is linked to Mobile phones with the user's Airtel number. In case of changing their mobile phone, it is possible to access the same account with the help of the registered mobile number from any device.
- However, mobile number cannot be changed since it is linked to the wallet, so the users can access it from anywhere at any time from any mobile phone.
Airtel Money service can be activated even on simple mobile phones. Any person belonging to India and of 18 years of age can apply for this service. To activate this service, users need to follow few steps given below:
Steps to activate the e-wallet:
- In order to subscribe the service in handsets, users have to dial *400# in mobile with Airtel Sim card. Users can activate it only using the Airtel sim card inserted mobile.
- One can also activate it by reaching the nearest Airtel retailer outlet. The customer has to fill the Application form and enclose one recent passport size photograph, and copies of the document of identity such as Aadhaar card or Pan card and Address proof.
- Users can also use Airtel Money by downloading the Airtel Money App from Play Store and use it by registering with valid details.
Registration can also be done via online mode through this link:https://www.airtel.in/. Fill out all the essential information and click on Register.
- Once the registration is done, a secret pin will be sent to the registered Airtel mobile number through SMS.
- Users have to select any one of the two accounts i.e., Express Account or Power Account as per their need and plan.
- Users need to type the secret code in next page and click on the Submit button. As soon as the information is submitted, they will receive an SMS about the completion of Registration process.
- They will receive an SMS having secret M-PIN. It is a unique and secret transfer code. This code has to be kept privately. It will be required every time to log in.
To use this service, users have to recharge their account through net banking, credit or debit card and by dialling *400# from the mobile handset. Users can open an account with Aadhaar based paperless e-KYC without any documents and customer's Airtel mobile number would be their bank account number. The company opts to give 7.25% interest per annum on deposits in their accounts. Users can get access to Airtel Money within 21 days.
KYC (Know Your Customer) is the process to verify the identity of clients by obtaining information about the identity and address of customers. It protects the organization from fraudulent agents and unknown access. It refers to various norms, rules, laws and statutes issued by RBI from time to time under which the Bank is required to obtain personal identification information and authorization from the customer as it may be needed at the time of enrolling for this services and/ or on a later date, for availing and/ or continuation of the services.
Minimum KYC wallet:
It can be opened with customer details like Customer's name, Date of Birth, Pin code, Mobile number and any type of POI. It has the limit of up to Rs. 10000/- and it is used for quicker payments.
Full KYC wallet:
Full KYC wallet has an enhanced limit of Rs.100000/- and so customers need not worry about digital money shortage. Free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank is one of the interesting options used by Airtel. It offers Personal Accidental insurance of Rs. 1 lakh with every savings account, easy deposit and withdrawal facility across a wide network of Airtel retail outlets and other offers.
Types of Accounts:
There are two types of Airtel Money Accounts as follows:
“Express Account” works by accepting minimum details of customers. It will be accessed when signed up. This Airtel Account is known as semi-closed system payment instrument by Bank by obtaining minimum information. It does not need any KYC documents.
"Power Account" is Airtel Account classified as semi-closed system payment instrument issued by the Bank by getting complete KYC details prescribed by RBI master directions and approved under the PML Rules 2005, changing from time to time.
Difference between Power and Express Accounts:
The main difference between these two accounts is the balance and usage limits.
- The balance limit for Power account is INR 1,00,000 and the usage limit is up to INR 50,000 per day, whereas the balance limit for Express account is INR 10,000 and the usage limit is up to INR 10,000 per month. There is not much difference in the services.
- Express Account uses only minimum customer details whereas Power Account uses complete KYC details.
At first, users must load the cash in their virtual wallet in order to make Online payments. It is used to make all kinds of payments, both online and offline. By using the virtual wallet, any kind of payment can be done in online. Loading money into the mobile wallet can be done with the use of load cash feature. It can be done by entering Airtel mobile number and payment details on the web or mobile application and then the mobile wallet will be refilled. It also provides more offers.
Two ways in which cash can be loaded in the e-wallet are as follows:
Online Recharge (Net banking) on www.airtelmoney.in:
- By clicking on easy load cash, bank details will appear and users have to follow the instructions to load cash in their account instantly. They can also recharge through Airtel Money self-care account. It charges Rs. 15/- as loading charge for first time, when the money is loaded through an agent. It does not charge any amount for Online loading.
Retail Outlet Recharge:
- Users can load cash at any authorized Airtel retail store. Only an authorized retailer can load money into the user's account.
- Pay bills: Once the money is loaded in e-wallet, users can make use of that money to pay bills, to book online movie tickets, for e-reservation, to book train, bus and flight tickets and they can make any online transaction more easily.
- Transfer money online: In case of emergency and other critical situation, money transaction can be done more easily from anywhere at any time.
Though Airtel Money affords more features than a Wallet, it has some major drawbacks in terms of facilities and services.
One user can use only one account. It seems as a drawback. One user can have only one account for an Airtel number.
It costs too much charges for transactions which is higher than the Banking transactions.
Some charges are given below:
Registration fees - Rs. 50/-
Charges for Cash loading:
- Up to Rs. 3000/- Free
- Rs. 3001/- to Rs. 4000/- Rs. 40/-
- Above Rs. 4000/- Rs. 50/-
Charges for Transferring money to Airtel Account and Bank Account:
- For Rs. 10/- to Rs. 50/- : Free
- For Rs. 51/- to Rs. 1000/- : Rs. 15/-
- For Rs. 1001/- to Rs. 3000/- : Rs. 35/-
- For Rs. 3001/- to Rs. 5000/- : Rs. 50/-
Charges for cash withdrawal and transfer to Mobile Account (such as Vodafone mPesa Account):
- For Rs.10/- to Rs. 50/- : Free
- For Rs. 51/- to Rs. 1000/- : Rs. 20/-
- For Rs. 1001/- to Rs. 3000/- : Rs. 60/-
- For Rs. 3001/- to Rs. 5000/- : Rs. 100/-
Charges cost for transaction through different modes:
- Transfer of funds within Airtel Payments Bank using Internet banking, mobile app & USSD: No charges required.
- Within Airtel Payments Bank from banking point: 0.5% of the amount transferred.
- From Airtel Payments Bank to another bank (Internet banking, mobile app & USSD): 0.5% of the amount transferred.
- From Airtel Payments Bank to another bank from a banking point for amounts from Rs. 10/- up to Rs. 1,000/- : Rs. 10/-.
- From Airtel Payments Bank to another bank from a banking point for amount above Rs. 1,000/- : 1% of the amount transferred.
- It provides higher Interest:Users’ money does not lie idle in Airtel account. It gives its users the interest at the rate of 4% per annum. This is the minimum interest rate for saving accounts. This is the higher amount when compared to other banks.
- Difficulty in transferring big amount:
This service is not designed for transferring big amount. The Airtel super and express account has a transaction limit of only 10000 rupees/day. Users can use 50000 rupees/day in premium account but then they will not have the facility of money transfer or cash withdrawal.