M-Pesa – Vodafone’s mobile money transfer and payment service – has been quite successful in some emerging markets such as Egypt, Kenya and other African Countries. M-Pesa is basically being positioned by Vodafone as an emerging markets solution. On 23rd April 2014, Vodafone India in collaboration with ICICI Bank, announced the launch of M-Pesa in Kerala, India.
The service was formally launched by senior officials from Vodafone India including S Murali, Business Head – Kerala, Suresh Sethi, Business Head –M-Pesa and Suresh Kumar, Operations Director – South. M-Pesa’ empowers the unbanked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services via the mobile devices.
“Vodafone is always at the forefront to introduce innovative products and services that enrich the lives of our customers. We are delighted to bring to Kerala, ‘M-Pesa’, a world class mobile banking service, in partnership with ICICI Bank,” said Business Head – Kerala, Vodafone India, S Murali. ‘M-Pesa’, is a safe, secure and convenient service to transfer money and make payments beyond the reach of traditional banking channels. For households where the earning members migrate to larger cities for earning livelihood, ‘M-Pesa’ will be the best way to send money back home to their families,” he added.
‘M-Pesa’ 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.
This service will now be available across 63 Tehsils, 14 Districts through 1800 specially trained authorized agents including 29 Vodafone exclusive stores in Kerala.
“Vodafone is the world’s largest and leading provider of mobile payment services through ‘M-Pesa’, which offers millions of people including the unbanked and underserviced sections of society, basic financial services. Today, less than 5 percent of villages in India have a banking outlet,” said Vodafone India’s Business Head - M-Pesa, Suresh Sethi. “Financial inclusion is a national priority and we believe that with ‘M-Pesa’, we now have the ideal offering to facilitate the same across the country in compliance with all applicable regulations.”
Vodafone has also launched NREGA payout in Chattisgarh and and talks are on with the government in Kerala. NREGA and Microfinance are two areas where there is huge opportunity. In Kerala, Vodafone covers 1530 towns and villages. There are 45,000 outlets in Kerala, of which 2000 plus have been identified as potential M-Pesa outlets with 29 exclusive retails stores.