‘M-Pesa’ facilitates money transfer and payments via mobile phone

Mumbai: Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers and ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, today announced the launch of ‘M-Pesa’ - a unique mobile money transfer and payment service in Mumbai – the commercial capital of India. ‘M-Pesa’ is the trademark of Vodafone. The service was formally launched today 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.  

Suresh Sethi, Business Head –M-Pesa, Bhuvanesh Pratap Singh, Operations Director–West, Ravi Narayanan, Senior General Manager, ICICI Bank and Arvind Vohra, Business Head – Mumbai, at the launch of M-Pesa in Mumbai

‘M-Pesa’ empowers the unbanked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services via the mobile phone. ‘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.

The innovative use of mobile technology makes it possible for customers to enjoy a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money and make payments. Using their ‘M-Pesa’ account, customers can at their convenience:
·Deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets
·Transfer money to any mobile phone in India
·Remit money to any bank account in India
·Make payments to recharge mobile, clear utility bills and for DTH service subscription
·Shop at select shops
·Participate in e-commerce/m-commerce.

Highlighting the relevance of ‘M–Pesa’ for the residents of Mumbai, Arvind Vohra, Business Head –Mumbai, Vodafone India 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.”

Added Suresh Sethi, Business Head - M-Pesa, Vodafone India, ”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. 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.”

Says Ravi Narayanan, Senior General Manager, ICICI Bank, “ICICI Bank always brings to its customers innovative services that make banking easier and more convenient. With ‘M-Pesa’, the Bank, in association with MCSL, a 100% 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.”

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.

How does it work?

Registering for ‘M-Pesa’ is easy and simple. Vodafone customers need to visit an ‘M-Pesa’ agent outlet, fill up a form, submit identity, address proofs and deposit a minimum amount along with it, to open their ‘M-Pesa’ account. The MCSL Mobile Wallet gets activated immediately and the customer can do a variety of transactions like cash deposit, transfer money to any bank account, money transfer to any other ‘M-Pesa’ customer, recharge mobiles & DTH, pay mobile and utility bills. Once the documents are verified and approved by MCSL and ICICI Bank the customer can do other transactions viz. cash withdrawal and sending money to any mobile number.About Vodafone India
Vodafone India is a member of the Vodafone Group and commenced operations in 1994 when its predecessor Hutchison Max acquired the cellular license for Mumbai. The company has operations across the country serving over 150 million customers. This journey is a strong testimony of Vodafone’s success in a highly competitive and price sensitive market. Vodafone India in its long-term commitment to India has been providing innovative, customer friendly and reliable products and services by continuously differentiating itself with a strong brand, best quality network, unique distribution and great customer service.

Vodafone has been receiving several awards and recognition across different segments. The company recently was recognized as one of ‘India’s Best Companies to Work For 2013, an initiative by ET - Great Places to work. In a survey conducted by Nielsen; Vodafone India was recognized as the ‘Most Likeable Brand’ in the consumer services category. Vodafone was awarded the silver at the prestigious Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards for its 121 Made for You Campaign. Vodafone India has also been making significant strides with its wide retail presence in the country. The company won the award for innovation in Retail, at International women leadership forum for the concept of Angel (all women) stores across the country.  VIL also won the ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the mobile and telecom category at the Asia Retail Congress 2013.  Vodafone Business Services has been awarded the “Best Enterprise Service Provider” at the Frost & Sullivan Awards for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

At Vodafone, sustainability is an integral part of the company’s mission and strategy, shaping the conduct of business every day. Since 2011, in line with its Group philosophy, Vodafone India became the first telecom operator in India to release an annual Corporate Sustainability Report for India – Footprints. Vodafone India was awarded the ‘Green Telecom Company of the Year’ at the Telecom Leadership Awards 2012 by a renowned media group recently and has also been awarded the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award” for corporate social responsibility for 2012 and for Innovation in Product/Service in Telecom category for 2013.

Vodafone Group is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies with over 408 million customers as on March 31, 2013. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com

About ICICI Bank:

ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE:IBN) is India's largest private sector bank and the second largest bank in the country, with consolidated total assets of over $124 billion at March 31, 2013. ICICI Bank’s subsidiaries include India’s leading private sector insurance companies and among its largest securities brokerage firms, mutual funds and private equity firms. ICICI Bank’s presence currently spans 19 countries, including India. For more information, please visit www.icicibank.com