Science and Tech
By Liyo Kikon
WHY do we need mobile wallet in a world where we can do transactions using our debit/credit cards? The answer is simple – Security and ease of use. There are several apps for mobile wallet such as Paytm, OxigenWallet, MobiKwik, JioMoney and all banks have their own mobile wallet apps which can do almost the same things i.e. recharge your phone, pay bills, transfer money, go online shopping and so on. It is definitely not a replacement for your cards, but more like an “add-on” for it. An example for one of the most useful things I’ve done with mobile wallet (other than recharging phones or paying bills) would be paying for a cab. Now, I’m not talking about our local taxi in Nagaland but if you go to any major cities and hire an Uber or other such taxi services, you don’t have to take out your wallet or carry any cash as long as you have money in your mobile wallet. Once you reach your destination, the money is automatically transferred to the taxi driver’s account so all you have to do is say thank you and walk away. I found this really useful and since the technology is already there for cashless transactions with just your mobile phones, here are some thoughts on one of the app I have been using daily for a long time – Paytm.
Commonly known for their mobile recharge system, Paytm was founded in 2010 as a mobile recharge website and quickly gained popularity due to their ease of use. Back then, they only had a website for mobile recharge, but now their ecosystem has grown from shopping to a dedicated app called Paytm Wallet when in 2015, the Reserve Bank of India gave Paytm a license for starting India’s first payments bank. And this is the mobile application you can make use of to send/receive payments and skip handling cash completely and pay using your bank account securely.
After you install the “Paytm Wallet” app, you can register for free with your mobile number or email, next add your banking details to the application for adding money and withdrawing back to your account. To “request” money from someone, all you need to do is go to the “Request” tab and either enter their mobile/email/bank details and amount or press the “QR Code” button and enter the amount directly. I find that the QR Code (Barcode) system is much easier since all you need to do is enter the amount, press the “Generate QR Code” button and a bar code will be displayed which can be shared as an image file or scanned directly from your phone’s display by the other person sending you the money.
Ok, imagine this scenario – You own a store (Any store – even a pan dukan) or literally any business, you can inform your customers that you accept payments via Paytm. All you need is a smartphone, the app installed and either 3g,4g or wifi connection. When the time comes for your customer to pay the bill, you can simply open up the app, go to the “Request” tab, enter the amount and press “Generate QR Code” which will display the QR Code on your phone. The customer then opens the app on their phone and go to the “Send” tab and press the “Paytm Code” button which will open up the camera, ready to scan the QR Code. Once the customer points the camera at the code generated on your phone’s display, a confirmation will appear on his/her phone and upon accepting, the money will be instantly paid to your account! All this can be done in just a few seconds and once you get the hang of it, it can actually be faster than using your credit/debit card to make payments or even cash since the customers don’t have to wait for you to get their change.
This payment method for cashless transactions is more realistic for places like Nagaland where only a handful of stores accept debit/credit cards and NFC (Near Field Communication) payments is not going to become common anytime soon. But since everybody has a mobile phone these days along with internet connection, all you need now is to install the app and put up a sign saying “Paytm online payments accepted”. Doesn’t that sound like something everyone can easily get used to?
About security, Paytm runs under the same type of encryption used by banks. And just like online banking, as long as you don’t give anyone your password, your money is safe! Even if you lose your phone, you can easily block your Paytm account on that phone to prevent misuse. Moreover, all transactions are recorded with a time and date stamp just like a bank statement so if anyone is misusing the account, it can be easily traced.
Let me just say that this app is totally awesome and I would highly recommend it to everyone. And if you own a business, why don’t you try using this app and start the trend of cashless transaction?
Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry