Vodafone, ICICI Bank to launch m-pesa in east India
Vodafone and ICICI Bank Thursday entered into an alliance to launch "m-pesa", a mobile money transfer and payment service, by the year-end.
The service will be launched through the Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd, a Vodafone India subsidiary and ICICI Bank. It would comprise a mobile money account with ICICI Bank and a Mobile Wallet issued by MCSL.
The deal was announced by Vodafone India Managing Director Marten Pieters and ICICI Bank Managing Director Chanda Kochhar.
"m-pesa" will enable customers to make cash deposits or withdrawals from designated outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone or bank account in India, make payments at select shops and avail of a wide range of mobile payment services like mobile or DTH recharge and utility bills.
Initially, it will be launched in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand and then rolled out in phases in other parts of India.
Pieters said 'm-pesa' would offer millions of people basic financial services, beyond the reach of traditional banking for which there is a tremendous growth potential in India.
"The 'm-pesa' will enable us reach out to segments (of the population) which currently do not have access to banking services, towards our objective of achieving greater financial inclusion," said Kochhar.