Vodafone has teamed up with ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, to launch M-Pesa in India, mobile money transfer and payment service.
The mobile money service allows customers to send and receive small amounts of money via their mobile phones.
The service provided by M-Pesa opens services that were previously out of reach for many customers, particularly those living with no banking infrastructure.
According to Vodafone and ICICI Bank, 700 million of the country’s population have no access to conventional banking.
Marten Pieters, Managing director and CEO, Vodafone India, said: ‘For millions of people in India, a mobile phone is a bank account, a front door to a micro-business or a lifeline to people in the remotest areas."
Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director, ICICI Bank, said of the partnership: ‘Our partnership will effectively leverage the security of financial transactions provided to customers by ICICI Bank with Vodafone’s significant distribution reach. 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.’
M-Pesa, originally launched in 2007 is now available in eight countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.