SmartCard Expo India: Mobile Payments Can Control Corruption in the Country!

S Swarn, Editor in Chief, Electronic Today

Day two of SmartCards Expo saw intense debates on the issues of mobile payments, the security issues associated with them and their importance for increasing electronic payments in the country. Mobile payments, while successful in countries such as Kenya are yet to take off in India. Some of the key spokespersons today included Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, MPFI, Shri Ravishankar, USO Administrator and MD, BBNL, Anil Prakash, Secretary General, ITU-APT Foundation of India and Dr. RN Bhardwaj, Executive Director, Telecom Users Group of India RN.

Presenting the keynote address at the SmartCards Expo, Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, MPFI talked about how Internet-based payments are not a success in India. “Mobile payments can achieve what Internet payment couldn’t achieve in the country. Mobile payments can be done through various channels such as SMS, Internet, USSD and voice, giving ample opportunities to build various payment applications,” he said.

Echoing this sentiment, Shri Ravishankar, USO Administrator and MD, BBNL said, “The biggest challenge for the country today is to bridge the digital divide that exists between the urban and rural populations.” He said the biggest challenge in the adoption of mobile technologies such as mobile payments is to excite people at the gram panchayat level about the various use cases of the same.

One of the biggest challenges around mobile payments today is the security concern around it. Talking about the same, BK Wadhawan, Sales Director, GEMALTO said, “SMS based payments are typically insecure and subject to misuse. The best way to secure such systems is by the use of PKI technology that encrypts the SMS based payments. This would not only make mobile payments secure but build trust around the system and increase the adoption in the country.”

Talking about the extent of the security challenges, Anil Prakash, Secretary General, ITU-APT Foundation of India said, “Millions of handsets are lost every year that contain sensitive information about the user including their financial data. In order to protect against the misuse of this financial data, solution providers need to implement solutions that remotely wipe data in case of device loss and securely store the data on the handset, which cannot be accessed without a password.”

Shweta Aprameya, Head, Alpha Payments Services highlighted how Kenya is far ahead of India when it comes to mobile payments.” Over 50 percent population of Kenya has access to mobile payments whereas it is yet to take off in India. The key reasons behind this are the lack of Unique ID implementation in India, absence of inter-bank settlement system and broad and dependable retail network for signup, cash in and cash out.”

S Swarn, Editor in Chief, Electronics Today said “This huge attendance, by Indian and International participants alike, at the Exposition confirms that there is an exponential boom in the Smart Card, RFID and Biometrics industry in India. Our endeavour is to showcase the latest products, service, trends in the industry and create a single platform where technology, manufacturer and vendor meet each other. We would like thank our partners, sponsors and exhibitors and hope they return to join us in our next edition.”

SmartCards Expo is the world’s second largest Smart Cards Expo began today at the NSIC Exhibition Ground, Okhla, New Delhi. The event would take place till the 12th of October. The Expo along with 2 International Conferences on RFID & SmartCards Technologies for Transit Applications, and Mobile Payments & e-Payments – Indian Perspective over the three day period will witness around 200 global exhibitors and over 6000 visitors from 25 countries from SmartCards industry and related fields.    

The 14th Edition of Smart Cards Expo 2012 with its co-located events – e-Security Expo 2012, RFidIndia Expo 2012, BiometricsIndia Expo 2012, e-Payments India Expo 2012 and IndiaMobile Forum 2012 is the No. 1 Smart Card Exposition in Asia and No. 2 in the World. SmartCards Expo 2012 is organized by Electronics Today, National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is the knowledge partner and is sponsored by Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Govt of India.  Concurrently with Smart Card Expo, two half-day Technical Workshops will also be held. The Technical Workshops are on Multi Application Smart Card and UID Authentication.

Smart cards, Biometrics and RFID technologies are now fast penetrating in a variety of socio-economic applications. Some of the on-going projects using these technologies promoted by Government of India include (approximate potential in brackets): National ID (1.2 billion), driving and Vehicle registration (300- 500 million), e-Passports (100 million), public distribution system (100 million), Financial inclusion (400 million), health insurance for BPL (30 million). Unique Identification Number (600 million).

The Indian mobile phone population, growing annually at 100 million, and expected to touch 1 billion by 2012 end, provides excellent opportunity for various stakeholders in mobile payments & related applications, for meeting expectations of masses at the bottom of the pyramid.  Another encouraging trend is the growing rural mobile penetration, opening up vast rural market potential, yet to be fully explored. Added to this, the thrust being provided by RBI to mobile banking by moving up the upper limit on mobile payment transactions, which will encourage banks to design innovative mobile banking solutions.

Similarly, RFID technology applications in India are spreading in a big way. The International Conference on RFID and Smart Card Technologies for Transit Applications, will cover topics like Toll Collection, Automatic Fare Collection, Common Mobility Card applications and strategies to promote them in India.

World over, Radio Frequency Identification  (RFID)  and smart cards technologies are being used for transit applications – many times together – to provide increased convenience to the end users. In India, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and NHAI have decided to use RFID technology, for toll collection on the entire National Highways network. India has huge road network, consisting of National Highways (70,934 kms) and State Highways (1,31,899 km). RFID technology will enable toll collection without the vehicle stoping, ensuring seamless travel and efficient toll collection. According to a study by the IIM, Kolkata, and the Transport Corporation of India, delays at toll plazas cost the economy an estimated Rs 87,000 crore every year.

SmartCards Expo is also being co-sponsored by organizations such as – Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI); AIDC Technologies Association of India(AIDC); The Institution of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineers(IETE); Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association(CEAMA); Association of Unified Telecom Services Providers of India(AUSPI); Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association of India(TEMA); Communications and Manufacturing Association of India(CMAI); DECT Forum India; IPTV India Forum; Telecom Users Group of India(TUGI); ITU-Apt Foundation of India; Smart Card Alliance, USA (SCA); Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada (Act-Canada); Asia Pacific Smart Card Association, Shanghai (APSCA); Hong Kong Smart Card Federation of China (SCFC); Global Platform, Europe; EUROSMART, (Brussels).

Tags : Mobile Banking IndiaMobile payment in IndiaSmartCard Expo India