The need of mobile wallets as a standalone service has ceased to exist, according to Bangalore-based startup incubator AngelPrime's Managing Partner Sanjay Swamy.
"There was a time when there was a window of opportunity but today the need has gone," said Swamy, referring to trends in mobile payments at Techcircle's Payments and Loyalty Forum 2013.
AngelPrime's three investments include Ezetap, SmartOwner and Unamia. Swamy who is also co-founder of ZipDial, was earlier CEO at mChek Payments and has also been associated with the Aadhar programme.
On the upcoming trends and opportunities in mobile payments sector, he said there are two areas to watchout for this year -- smartphones and UIDAI number. "Don't waste your time on anything else. Smartphone-based solutions are the biggest trend to watch out for. UIDAI is going to be massive too. To leverage UIDAI number will be a phenomenal opportunity since it simplifies everything," he said. He said companies are not yet coming forward to build services on it, though this opens up a huge window of opportunity.
"Five years ago in India there were about 20 million credit card holders and 45-50 million debit card holders. Credit card base might have dropped or not but debit card users have grown to 300 million today. Mobile payments will definitely take off but there are other solutions that needs to be put in place too like POS terminals," he said.
In last year's edition of the forum, the question that emerged was what is actually holding m-payments back ? The question still remains though slightly changed. It is now more a question of what will sustain in the next 2-3 years. Penetration of mobile phones is not an issue and neither is customers' trust. More and more people are getting comfortable with mobile payment services. It is more of a discussion about which services will be more popular.
Going by Swamy's views, mobile wallets might not be that popular, but mPOS terminals seem to be hitting it off with the merchants and investors alike.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)