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New Face of Mobile Payments

Entrepreneur unveils how Shashank Joshi, the man behind MMPL, is encouraging cashless transactions.

BY Punita Sabharwal | COMMENTS ( 0 ) |

Today, mobile payment is one of the hot industries in India. As per Census 2011, 5.6 per cent of the rural population remains unbanked. The newly launched Jan Dhan Yojana or people’s wealth programme (intended to provide bank accounts for the unbanked population) and the Bharat Bill Payment System (an online payment of bills) is targeting the unbanked population. Moreover, the players like My Mobile Payments Ltd (MMPL) are also making a difference in this space. Entrepreneur unveils how Shashank Joshi, the man behind MMPL, is encouraging cashless transactions.

Shashank began his entrepreneurial journey in 1992 with the computer software and hardware business and set up India’s first computer retail outlet in 1994 with the accreditation from Intel, Microsoft, HP and others.

During 1997-99, Shashank worked closely with Dr Vijay Bhatkar (of C-DAC) for the deployment of ETH (Dishnet DSL). Since 2000, he has been involved with IT-enabled services – medical transcription, international and domestic call centre and outsourced accounting.

With the vision to “Simplify Payments” and to bring the convenience of “Simplified Mobile Payments” to every mobile subscriber in India, Joshi launched MoneyOnMobile in 2010. Before MMPL, Shashank was the Managing Director at Prospectbase IT Services Pvt Ltd, Prospectbase Inc and Pbpayments Inc with offices in the UK and the US.

Prospectbase was one of the top performing ISO for First American Payments System since its inception. Also, AdvanceMe Inc., a project that Shashank was closely associated with, was the leading provider of unsecured cash advances to many brick-and-mortar merchants in the US.

MoneyOnMobile is a revolutionary concept from MMPL. The service is focussed on the idea of virtual money loaded into mobile phones that can be used for various payments and purchases, which are otherwise restricted to being carried out in specific locations using paperwork. MoneyOnMobile does not require a bank account or smartphone, all transactions are therefore conducted either using the SMS or GPRS functions of your mobile phone.

The Benefits

MMPL has a multilingual app, which is first of its kind in India. The multilingual app is launched in 10 Indian languages, offering the ease of making transactions in a local language.

MMPL’s SMS-based service is independent of the telecom operator. It can be availed irrespective of the telecom network that a customer has. MMPL service is independent of your bank account. It is not mandatory to store your bank account or credit/debit card details to operate the MMPL wallet.

MMPL’s M-wallet instrument is safe and is PASA compliant. Customers are provided with an M-Pin to log in and T-Pin to make a transaction. Hence, the process of making payments is not only convenient, but also secured.

Domestic Money Transfer: Mobile Money Order

MMPL has partnered with NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India) to promote the domestic remittance across the country for P2A and P2P services.

The company has made considerable efforts in the launch of the services of domestic remittance so that consumers can make payments to their family and friends on real time basis. This service has been launched with a product name of “Mobile Money Order.” It is 50 per cent cheaper than postal money order, works 24x7, even on national holidays and Sunday. The simple, easy and trusted way to transfer funds in the most cost-effective manner has been a key differentiator.

The vision for Mobile Money Order is to reach to every city across the country and build trust among consumers to consider the MMPL platform as a safe financial platform.

MoneyOnMobile has also ventured with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) that is aiming to bring every Indian national with an Aadhaar card for various business prospects:

a. E-KYC for verification for the Indian national.
b. Cash out using Aadhaar.

These initiatives of MMPL venturing with public sectors have diversified its business prospects to enter into the financial inclusion domain.

Interview

All set for the next level of growth, Shashank Joshi, MD, My Mobile Payments Ltd, is about to acquire two more companies and is looking to raise $40 million to fund this growth. In an interaction with Entrepreneur, Joshi goes down the memory lane to share how it all began and what future he see of the payment industry. 

What is your educational background?

I studied Mechanical Engineering at MIT Pune.

What led you to take off an entrepreneurial journey?

It was impressed upon me that the country you are born in, the country providing you the basic infrastructure and education should be the country you should give back what you can and in this case it was India. I gave up the preparation for GRE Exam and decided to stay in India and the best way to serve the country was to create jobs and support as many families as you can. Hence, I started my entrepreneurial journey in 1992 before I got out of college. It has been 23 years now and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

How did you foray into the mobile payment industry?

Since 2003, I was exposed to the payment industry in the US and was thinking about bringing it to India, and mobile had become a ubiquitous device, so I implemented the payment industry knowledge and started MoneyOnMobile in 2010.

You planned to reach 115 million users by March 2015. Are you anywhere close to that mark?

We have exceeded our expectations and already have 121 million consumers as of February 2015. We expect to have 126 million consumers by the end of March 2015.

How much external funding have you raised so far?

I have been able to generate close to Rs 8 crore from friends and family and employees and have raised an initial round from a strategic investor based out of Dallas.

Are you looking for any fresh round of funding?

Yes, we are looking for next round of funding to raise $40 million.

What differentiates MoneyOnMobile from competitors like Paytm?

The other players have the ability to service the banked customers only. We are totally focussed on the unbanked people and they constitute a huge population in the country. Our USP is to convert cash into digital currency and provide the first financial instrument for an unbanked customer.

What kind of acquisitions have you made so far?

We have done small to large deals and have acquired six businesses till now, and I am in the process of acquiring two RBI licensed companies. One has great technology to implement for merchant payments and the other has over 7,000 merchants.

What is the future of payment industry in India?

The future is extremely bright and the next couple of years will witness path-breaking innovations that will have the world watching and emulating India.

What are your expansion plans?

We are currently present in 270,000 merchant establishments and wish to grow to 500,000 by the end of next year. We will launch merchant payments and SME payments and expect a phenomenal growth in our consumer segment.

Share your current employee strength, total number of merchants and present turnover.

Currently, we have 270,000 merchants process Rs 6 crore per day and wish to quadruple the volume in next six months. Present employee strength is 300 and will be 500 plus by March 2016.

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