Vodafone India and ICICI bank have launched m-pesa in Gujarat. The telecom operator also plans to expand the service across the country in 2014 with an eye on the $60 billion money transfer market in the country.
m-pesa launched by Vodafone India last year is a mobile transfer and payment system that comes with an account at ICICI bank. Transaction charges levied will be 1.2-1.5% of the value of the transaction.
m-pesa is aimed at areas of the country without formal access to financial services. According to the company 5% of villages in India have a bank with only 1 branch for every 12,000 people.
The telecom operator also plans to target the government benefits transfer market in India with the mobile wallet.
The service will be launched in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand and will be rolled out in other parts of the country later, the company said. The operator and the bank, had signed a deal to deploy M-Pesa in India in January last year. In November last year, Vodafone had partnered with HDFC Bank to launch M-Paisa in India.
Mobile payments are not new to India and companies like SBI and ICICI bank have this service available for their users ever since banks began supporting Interbank Mobile Payment Services (IMPS).
Earlier, Airtel and Axis bank had announced mobile transactions on the Airtel Money platform called ‘airtel money Super Account powered by Axis Bank’ in 2012. Phone maker Nokia too had forayed into the now defunct service in 2010.
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