Vodafone India and ICICI Bank have launched a mobile money transfer and payment service, 'M-Pesa'.
'M-Pesa' is the trademark of Vodafone and it enables transferring of money and making payments.
'M-Pesa', which is initially being offered in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand through over 8,300 agents, will soon be rolled out across the country in a phased manner.
The service was launched in Kolkata by Vodafone India managing director and chief executive officer Marten Pieters and ICICI Bank executive director Rajiv Sabharwal.
''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. Financial inclusion is a national priority and we believe that with 'M-Pesa', we now have the ideal offering to enable the same,'' Pieters said.
According to ICICI's Sabharwal, ''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 November 2012, Vodafone India, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions, and ICICI Bank had announced a strategic alliance to launch mobile payment services, under the brand name '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 account would get activated immediately and the customer can do a variety of transactions like cash deposit, transfer money to any bank account, money transfer to any other 'M-Pesa' customer, recharge mobiles and DTH, pay mobile and utility bills.
Once the documents are verified, customers can do other transactions such as cash withdrawal and sending money to any mobile number.
The M-Pesa facility enables Vodafone customers to 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 and shop at select retail outlets making e-commerce / m-commerce payments.