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Mobile payments market doubling every year: new Obopay CEO

Mobile financial services provider Obopay Inc. has promoted Deepak Chandnani from president to CEO, and the executive said that the growth of the mobile payments market is really starting to take off.

Mr. Chandnani is focusing on driving the company’s growth in size and geographic scope, while founder/CEO Carol Realini will take on the new role of executive chairman, continuing her focus on corporate strategy and building the widespread adoption of mobile financial services worldwide.

“We’ve seen the mobile payments space really take off,” Mr. Chandnani said. “Revenues are moving up quite significantly, with very robust growth in all three regions we operate—the U.S., Africa and India—and we are poised to open up more countries in the first half of 2011.

“Mobile payments are really taking root and at Obopay we’ve really been able to take advantage of that,” he said. “If you look back and step back and see what is taking place in mobile payments, the space is expected to grow in both developed and emerging markets.

“The mobile payments experience just over 100 percent compound annual growth rate globally, according to Gartner and IDC, which represents a huge opportunity for us.”
Headquartered in Redwood City, CA, and Mumbai, India, Obopay offers mobile money services that lets consumers use their mobile phones to send and receive money, get paid or pay small businesses, top-up accounts, buy via mobile and pay bills.

Mobile payments growing
Obopay claims that its revenue has doubled over the last year, and the company expects the same in 2011.

Mr. Chandnani said that while he is pleased with Obopay’s growth, the mobile payments industry is not anywhere near its potential.

The regions that Obopay has concentrated on are India, Africa and the United States. It will continue to look at other opportunities for expansion as well. 

While sustaining the focus of the company in its home market, the U.S., Mr. Chandnani has led Obopay’s expansion into North and East Africa and is positioning the company for expansion into parts of Europe.

Under his leadership, the Obopay team has partnered with Nokia, Union Bank of India, Yes Bank, Societe General, Essar, Mastercard, FIS Global and the Star network.

“The mobile payments market itself is now really taking off in terms of growth, therefore at Obopay, my mandate is to grow the business with existing and new partners, and to make sure on the back-end to keep enhancing the Obopay payments system IP,” Mr. Chandnani said.

“We must ensure that not only the software and the payments system are enhanced, but so are the processes,” he said. “We must make sure everything is secure and follows banks’ guidelines.

“Mobile payments are becoming part of the fabric of success—as mobile payments are replicated in more and more countries and see greater consumer adoption worldwide, it is getting to a tipping point in very near future.”

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Commerce Daily