Vodafone takes M-Pesa to India
Vodafone India has announced the long-awaited launch of mobile wallet service M-Pesa with ICICI Bank.
The companies yesterday debuted the mobile transfer and payment service in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. They plan to roll out the service India-wide, starting in the eastern parts of the country.
The mobile money service will allow customers to deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone or bank account in India and make payments for mobile, utility and other bills.
M-Pesa was originally launched in Kenya by Safaricom, the mobile company managed by substantial shareholder Vodafone. It currently also operates in Tanzania, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Vodafone India first announced its intention to launch M-Pesa with ICICI bank in January 2011.
Late that year, the company launched a similar service with SDFC bank, dubbed M-Paisa, in the state of Rajasthan.
Rival Bharti Airtel offers mobile money service Airtel Money in India, and is expanding the service to its African operations.