Vodafone India and ICICI Bank have joined hands to launch ‘M-Pesa’, a mobile money transfer and payment service. M-Pesa, which is being launched initially in the eastern parts of the country, effectively leverages the combined strengths of Vodafone’s global expertise in the domain of mobile payments and significant distribution reach in India plus the security of financial transactions provided by ICICI Bank. It is initially being offered in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand through over 8,300 specially trained authorised agents and will soon be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.
The innovative use of mobile technology makes it possible for customers to enjoy a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money and make payments. Using their M-Pesa account, customers can deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone in India, remit money to any bank account in India, make payments to recharge mobile, clear utility bills and for DTH service subscription, shop at select shops and participate in e-commerce/m-commerce.
Speaking on the development, Marten Pieters, Managing Director & CEO, Vodafone India said, “Mobile technology has a critical role to play in servicing the unbanked and underserviced sections of the society. Using M-Pesa, we will provide people in remote areas a convenient way to bank, transfer money and make payments in a safe and secure manner. We have customised our offering to serve the needs of Indian customers while ensuring its compliance with all applicable regulations.”
Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director, ICICI Bank added here, “With the launch of M-Pesa, ICICI Bank now offers a unique and innovative service that provides basic banking facilities to millions of Indians who still depend on informal channels for their banking needs. This launch is line with the Bank’s objective of achieving greater financial inclusion. It also enriches the Bank’s existing suite of mobile banking offerings.”
In order to register for M-Pesa, Vodafone customers need to visit an M-Pesa agent outlet, fill up a form, submit identity, address proofs and deposit a minimum amount along with it to open their M-Pesa account. The MCSL Mobile Wallet gets activated immediately and the customer can do a variety of transactions.