SMART phones are indeed getting smarter. iPhone, for example, in the near future will enhance its functions from making phone calls, sending text messages (SMS), playing games, playing music and giving access to the Internet to also replacing your wallet so that you can make payments by just placing the handset in front of a sensor to make a transaction.
A Mac report says iPhone 5 has features that support the technology called Near Field Communication (NFC), which is usually used to make electronic payments. The blog also says that the NFC chip will function as an e-wallet and is incorporated in the fifth generation of iPhone. By using this e-wallet, an owner of an iPhone 5 can purchase coffee, books and CDs at stores authorized to accept purchases using this payment method.
In fact, not only cell phones but also operators are rushing to be the first to introduce mobile e-money. Telkomsel, for example, has launched T-Cash (Telkomsel Cash). Various transactions can be made, such as purchases at authorized stores and websites, payment of bills, sending or transferring money, all of this using a cell phone.
Cellular operator Telkomsel divides subscribers of T-Cash into two types, namely basic service and full service ones. The first are simPATI/Kartu AS holders who can activate their account, via SMS, amounting to no more than Rp 1 million. Full service subscribers are those with a HALO card who can activate their account via SMS and can make transactions not exceeding Rp 5 million. Basic service subscribers can upgrade their status to Full Service by registering at the nearest GraPARI Telkomsel or authorized Telkomsel store.
“We have launched this mobile wallet service to solve problems involving electronic money transfers,” said manager of T-Cash Partnership Management Telkomsel Very Hananto during its launch in Yogyakarta at the end of 2010.
He said Telkomsel subscribers can now transfer money using their cell phones as fast as sending an SMS and can withdraw cash at Indomaret outlets collaborating with T-Cash. This service makes Telkomsel a cell phone operator that offers a money transfer facility to people across the nation. “Indonesia is a very large country so T-Cash Kirim Uang [Money Transfer] is a perfect solution for anyone wishing to remit money in an easy and simple way even if they don’t have a bank account,” he added.
Cell phones have become more than communication tools or gadgets; they have become part of people’s lifestyle that provide various facilities to make life more convenient.
Meanwhile, cellular operator Indosat introduced its e-wallet last year. E-wallet can be used to pay for goods by deducting from a subscriber’s phone credit. This way the number of your mobile phone is like your bank account number.
To deposit or withdraw cash, all one has to do is visit an Indosat store or Galeri Indosat in either Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang or Surabaya. Indosat will expand the coverage to more cities in the future.
According to Indosat, transferring money using this system is 100 percent safe. Indosat collaborates with Lippo insurance to guarantee that a subscriber’s money is safe and intact in case of transfer failure. On the feature called Dompet Belanja (Shopping Wallet) a user cannot draw in cash from the balance in the e-wallet.
However, on the feature called Dompet Kirim Uang (Money Transfer Wallet) a user who receives a money transfer must immediately withdraw it in full in accordance with a Bank Indonesia regulation. To differentiate the balance of Dompet Kirim Uang and Dompet Belanja, Indosat provides a subscriber or user with two e-wallet accounts when he or she registers as a user of Dompetku (My Wallet).
However, Indosat e-wallet service is still limited in its service and facilities. Dompet Belanja can only be used at some merchants, such as Alfamart in Dukuh Atas, Jakarta, and Cikokol, Tangerang.
However, Dompet Belanja can also be used at Alfamart stores that are open 24 hours, which can be found in many areas in Greater Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung. Dompet Belanja can also be used to pay Matrix, for airtime or phone credit from all operators as well as for balance transfer from one Dompet Belanja to another. (Ely Alvaro Gibran)
The Jakarta Post, February 02, 2011