After launching the M-Pesa with HDFC Bank back in 2011, Vodafone India has again launched its mobile money transfer and payment service, this time in collaboration with ICICI Bank. Originally launched in Rajasthan, M-Pesa will now be offered in the eastern areas of India that includes Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
M-Pesa is targeted at rural areas and small towns where banks are few and far between and allows a user to send and receive money using their mobile phones. In addition to transferring money, one can deposit or withdraw cash from designated outlets, pay money into any bank account in India, pay their bills and also make purchases at selected shops.
On this occasion, Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO of Vodafone India said, “For millions of people in India, a mobile phone is a bank account, a front door to a micro-business or a lifeline to people in the remotest areas. In partnership with ICICI Bank, we will provide people in remote areas with a convenient way to bank, transfer money and make payments in a safe and secure manner.”
The service will be offered through authorized agents spread across Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, covering a population of around 220 million people and then will be slowly rolled out across the rest of India in a phased manner. M-Pesa had 17.3 million active customers as on December 31 2012, and currently employs around 100,000 authorized agents.