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Vodafone launches M-Pesa mobile wallet service in AP

It will be available across 23 districts through 3,826 authorised agents

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

Telecom operator Vodafone, in collaboration with ICICI Bank, completed the pan-India rollout of M-Pesa, its mobile money transfer and payment platform, with the launch of the service in the Andhra Pradesh market on Wednesday.

The mobile wallet platform, which also offers out-cash services, enables to deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone or remit money to any bank account in India, make payments to recharge mobile, clear utility bills and for DTH service subscription.

“With this launch, M-Pesa is now present across 60,000 agent outlets, covering over 1.2 million customers pan-India. In Andhra Pradesh, it will be available across 23 districts through 3,826 authorised agents, including over 700 Vodafone exclusive stores,” said Mandeep Singh Bhatia, business head (Andhra Pradesh), Vodafone.

Stating that Vodafone covered 75 per cent of the Andhra Pradesh population and covering more than 11,000 towns and villages through over 1,000 exclusive outlets, Bhatia said educational hubs like Hyderabad, Warangal, Vizag, Vijayawada and Guntur, and industrial and defence bases would be the M-Pesa opportunity in the state. The company is seeing a 25 per cent month-on-mnth growth in M-Pesa customer base.

According to Suresh Sethi, business head (M-Pesa), Vodafone India, the platform is currently facilitating National Rural Health Mission (NHM) disbursements in Bihar and Jharkhand on a pilot basis.

“We will initiate discussions with other state governments for similar arrangements once these pilots are successfully rolled out,” he said, adding that while M-Pesa was available in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and English, and they would consider adding more languages in a phased manner.

M-Pesa was originally launched in Kenya, a country with a population of 40 million, nine years ago. Currently, one-third of its Gross Domestic Product flows through M-Pesa. The service is prevalent in nine emerging countries.

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First Published: Wed, April 23 2014. 21:04 IST