Payments and Education: Biggest votaries of mobility
Mobility is becoming by-far the most dynamic ecosystem in Indian technology landscape. The number of customer touch-points that can be addressed due to the availability of mobile technology is so high, that there is a multiplicity of players trying to gain a foothold in the value chain. Deloitte envisages two distinct strands of DNA that will define the space in the medium term.
The first among this is the ubiquity and acceptance of an open platform across devices of various form factors, usability, etc.10 The other is the blurring of distinction between the mobile and the web with increasing presence of tablets and smart phones. The first has made the Indian consumer more globalised. The consumer can now access a bulk of the apps that are available in such platforms globally. It has also fostered localisation of existing and custom applications developed to suit the requirement of the Indian consumer. The nature of such applications has changed from being predominantly communication, productivity or edutainment oriented and now also addresses more critical areas like commerce, healthcare, etc. The blurring of distinction between mobile and web format is also creating a paradigm shift in areas like discovery, content generation and access and electronic transactions.
Deloitte predicts a glut of application and services in the mobile payments space. Mobile payments, though modest in terms of its application as of now, are set to become the alternate currency for many transactions. This would become more prominent as smart-phone-based applications work in tandem with NFC devices and other web-based applications. Small ticket transactions ranging from buying a metro or bus ticket, to buying a burger would be the drivers for its growth. Deloitte predicts that mobile payments as a concept would be further linked to discovery tools that would integrate the concept of location-based services and mobile payments. We also predict further integration of traditional banking services and alternate currency using mobile, especially in areas like remittance. The impact of this can also be felt in G2C sector where cash disbursement and related concepts can be linked to the mobile.
Education is another sector that would be positively shaped by developments in the mobility ecosystem. Education content specific to tablets, smartphones and feature-phones would be created or customised from their legacy versions. But before a full-fledged dissemination of content via tablet happens, we expect issues concerning technological and business viability of education focused tablets to be addressed first. Deloitte predicts a set of mature, field-tested and well-differentiated set of tablets to address the education segment for a wide variety of usage.11, 12 The convergence of web and mobile would play a significant role here in bringing together collaborative models of learning, teacher-student-parent interaction, assessment and more efficient scheduling.
Finally, would 4G/LTE have a real impact on the Indian mobility landscape? Like its predecessor, 4G LTE too would have a slow start, given that only the best of the breed smartphones are compatible with the service. But we would see the initiation of new applications and ideas in the market in anticipation of 4G.
10 http://cmrindia.com: India Mobile Handsets Market Review, 2Q 2012
11 MAIT + IMRB Study on Indian Tablet market