Movida India Pvt. Ltd., a mobile payments joint venture between Visa and London Stock Exchange-listed Monitise, has signed an agreement with India's second largest private bank by size of balance sheet HDFC Bank, to introduce mobile payment service.
The service will allow HDFC Bank customers to pay bills, top up prepaid airtime and buy tickets from their mobile phone. It can also be used by any mobile subscriber across all mobile networks using any Visa as well as non-Visa branded credit or debit card.
After linking their HDFC Bank Visa or non-Visa payment card to their mobile phone number, cardholders can access the service via USSD (a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider's computers) over Movida's connection right from their mobile phone.
USSD can be used for prepaid call-back service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services. USSD messages are up to 182 alphanumeric characters in length. Unlike SMS messages, USSD messages create a real-time connection that remains open and allows for a two way exchange of a sequence of data.
The system encompasses various security measures including a unique PIN number set up on the phone to access the account information. Only the user's bank-registered phone can be connected to the service.
Naushad Contractor president of Movida India said, "This technology will be a game changer the way the iPhone was for mobile phones. This is a smart service for smart people and epitomizes everything Visa and Monitise stand for: it is fast, reliable, secure, and simple - and it will change the way consumers in India pay, forever."
Movida is a 50:50 JV between Visa and Monitise and it works primarily with financial institutions and mobile service operators to provide services to consumers across India.
"The partnership with Movida is a crucial step whereby we will enable our customers to carry out multiple mobile commerce transactions from the most basic handsets," said Rahul Bhagat, head-retail liabilities, marketing & direct banking channels, HDFC Bank.
Last year, Google partnered with Visa to launch 'Google Wallet', an application that enables users to make payments through their phone.