Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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A Micropayments Infrastructure for India: Part 2

January 19th, 2010 · 4 Comments

If we look at the Indian digital space, there are three primary ways for companies to make money: subscriptions, advertising and transactions (commerce).

India’s digital advertising market is still quite small (about Rs 700 cr – $150 million), with Google being the dominant player. Many of the leading Indian portals are losing money. While transactions are happening in large numbers, it is limited to a few categories. Subscriptions are non-existent in the Internet space, but if we extend that to “user pays”, the category is worth over $1 billion in the mobile space. Only a fraction of that (about 20%) actually flows through to the content and value-added services companies.

Given the realities, I think the opportunity lies in creating services that users can pay small amounts of money for – like they do on the mobile. What is needed, thus, is the equivalent of an open app store with a payment mechanism where mobile operators and taxes do not eat up 80% of what users pay.  A related opportunity in this space is to create a friction-free person-to-person micropayments capability, much like PayPal.

So, is there a way this can be created? And if so, what would be its impact?

Tomorrow: Part 3

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 MrDalal // Jan 19, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Some of these apps already exist?

  • 2 biplab das // Jan 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I heard mcheck is doing well

  • 3 Ruchit Garg // Jan 21, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Tangential: for Haiti relief, US telcos did good job by providing a short code to collect $10 from individuals who send the message, resulting in over $24 million so far.

    http://www.mgive.com/

    Power of micropayments

  • 4 Jan // Feb 13, 2011 at 5:54 am

    Rajesh I agree with you – I think the direction we are going to have to go – especially for people that do not do traditional banking is micro – prepaid services. I speculate this will be the way for anyone with a fluctuating income to purchases the amount of services they can afford. Thank you for your blog on this topic.

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