March 13, 2012

Would you use Airtel money?

I am a big sucker for great ads. So when i saw the ad for airtel money, where the girl spots this god-awesome bag but doesn't have the cash for it, i really felt for her. And felt that she should get the money for the bag. And when her mum dearest said, tathasthu! for her bag wish and sent her money thru phone, i was smiling along with the mother-daughter.

Got me to do some digging up on Airtel Money. So how does it work?
1. Mom has an airtel money account. Daughter has an airtel money account.
2. Mom loads cash into her account either by physically depositing money at an airtel office or transfer thru net banking.
3. Mom needs a power account to send money (Rs.50 subscription). She pays Rs. 5 per transaction below 500 and 10 for transactions above 500. (The bag certainly isn't coming for 500!!)
4. Daughter receives the money.
5. Daughter prays real hard that the store accepts the airtel money. If she is in luck, then he would. She would have to transfer money to his account by payment. And in case she sends it to the wrong ID, airtel does not hold itself responsible. If the merchant did not receive the money, then she would have to contact airtel customer care with transaction ID.
And yes, its a given that this would mean that all parties involved in the transactions have airtel accounts!

Now a simple question, why would anybody go thru this hassle in the age of debit and credit cards?! And if the mom is as tech-savvy, then she can as well use mobile banking and transfer money instantly to her daughter's account.
Same case with money transfer. When i can fund transfer directly to another account, free of charge, why would i do it to my airtel phone, so as to later transfer it again, at a charge to someone else's money account?
They let you book movie tickets using their money service, but you cannot pick your seats. Riders, charges  and conditions are there with almost every transaction. While their tagline says, it's not just about the money, they are charging money for everything ;)
I really did not understand airtel ka funda behind launching this service. I'd rather swipe my credit card free of cost and also accrue points for my purchase. Can you think of anyway in which airtel money would be advantageous and convenient?


  1. Yes that girl joy, after she receives the money is indeed a nice moment.

    But I beg to differ a bit on ur conclusion, imagine a person way to busy, can't go n pay ur bills, the person could use this facility to pay them. Yes there is an option of online payment facility, but still there are a lot of people who don't use netbanking, or neither use swipe card for security reason or any reason.

    The service launched is an excellent one, Its a well thought off process, now as everything is coming on phone, its a step closer to banking through phone.

    1. While I agree that big things are poised to happen over phone, I am not exactly sure if this is the best way. The person, way too busy, can use mobile banking too. It is also instant payment. It also happens over sms, irrespective of your service provider. Don't you think that is a much better alternative?

  2. I'm not a big fan of Airtel(bcoz I'm using the service for more than 6 years). After reading your post, I think of putting my hands there to check out the service.


  3. i want to know the name of that girl...i mean the girl who act as the daughter.....

    bcoz she looks like my sister...

    if anybody know....pls help me..

    1. No clue! Might take some digging up. Will see!

  4. Dr. Kishore ChandraOctober 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Very Useful post. I was wondering what ease can I get with airtel money. I am comfortable with net banking and mobile banking, so what better could be this airtel money. Thank you for clearing my doubts. I love airtel for its mobile network availability and reliability and its Digital TV clairty. But, thats it. Dont fall for their ads if you just think to try them, they got you. You'll be charged for it. Once I got an add to my email, to subscribe for a channel, and there was "Know More" button. I clicked that button just to know more about the offer. but, I was taken to my Digital TV a/c and I see on screen, "You'll be charged Rs.50/month for this subscription". I had a hard time reversing it. This Airtel Money is only to wrongly deduct money from your a/cs. If you have Netbanking/Mobile banking,then its enough for you. Dont go for Airtel Money and invite headaches.

  5. the genesis of the idea is to use your mobile as a wallet; agreed the technology and the product are in its infancy still, but there is a long way to go!
    Picture this:
    - the girl doesnt have money
    - does not even have her mom
    - has forgotten her wallet or doesnt have cards
    - but has a phone ONLY
    She can still buy, by just contactless proximity with the pos!
    Welcome to the world of NFC

    After this, ones imagination is the limit!

  6. Ishan,

    In your picture, you do forget that the girl needs to have pre loaded cash in her phone at this point in time. Agreed that it is in its infacy. Maybe some way to go before i can warm up to the idea of using the mobile phone. And that some way to go for me is until the service is available free of cost.

  7. I am a dissappointed Airtel money customer. 2 Days ago I received 2 sms from airtel money that my account was debited with Rs.400 & Rs. 295. But I hadn’t made any transaction. Those were fraud transactions.I made call to customer care but they refused about that. Details of transaction are given below :-
    S.No. Transaction ID Date of transaction Time of transaction Description of transaction Amount of transaction (Rs.) Debit/ Credit
    1 4091676 26/04/2012 10:34 AM AIR_PREPAID_MOB|UW:Utility Payment 40.0 DR
    2 4091421 26/04/2012 10:33 AM AIR_PREPAID_MOB|UW:Utility Payment 100.0 DR
    I have even filed a complaint against them on their site as well as at Consumer Court site but so far no action has been taken on this case.

  8. I think the advantage with this is that you can spend money using your mobile without internet connection and your mobile need not be a 'smart phone'. Also looks like airtel is giving some discount to encourage its use