'M-Pesa' the trademark of Vodafone was formally launched on Thursday by senior officials from Vodafone India viz. Bhuvanesh Pratap Singh, Operations Director -West; Arvind Vohra, Business Head - Mumbai and Suresh Sethi, Business Head - M-Pesa.
Vodafone said that 'M-Pesa' empowers the unbanked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services via the mobile phone.
According to company officials, " '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 through 1400 specially trained authorized agents in Mumbai," they added.
Highlighting the relevance of 'M-Pesa' for the residents of Mumbai, Arvind Vohra said, "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 Mumbai, 'M-Pesa', a world class mobile banking service, in partnership with ICICI Bank."
" '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," Vohra added.
Suresh Sethi said, "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."
He said, "Today, less than 5 percent of villages in India have a banking outlet. 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."
Ravi Narayanan, Senior General Manager, ICICI Bank, said, "ICICI Bank always brings to its customers innovative services that make banking easier and more convenient."
Narayanan said, "With 'M-Pesa', the Bank, in association with MCSL, a 100 percent subsidiary of Vodafone, now offers a unique service that provides basic banking facilities to millions of Indians who still depend on informal channels for their banking needs."
"This service will greatly contribute towards the larger financial inclusion objective of ICICI Bank," he said.
Apart from Mumbai, 'M-Pesa' has been rolled out in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Delhi/NCR and will be made available across the country in a phased manner, officials added.
--IBNS (Posted on 22-08-2013)