Vodafone closes M-Pesa mobile banking business in India

Vodafone India’s mobile phone-based banking service M-Pesa has closed its operations in the country with effect from July 15, BusinessLine reported.
M-Pesa-storeVodafone launched M-Pesa mobile money services in India in 2013.

Aditya Birla Payments Bank has also announced plans to shut down on July 15, according to a report by SBI’s Economic Research Department said.

Vodafone Group on May 14, 2019 said the global telecom operator has 37 million M-Pesa customers, with over €10 billion of payments processed over the platform every month across the seven African markets where M-Pesa services are active.

Vodafone Group said M-Pesa grew revenues by 20.7 percent to €0.75 billion, and represented 12 percent of Emerging Consumer service revenues in fiscal 2019. In fact, M-Pesa revenue is strongly supporting Vodafone’s telecom business in Africa.

M-Pesa had more than 8.4 million customers in India, according to data on the Vodafone website dated January 5, 2017.

Eleven companies including Vodafone and Idea Cellular, among others, took the payments bank (PB) licences from the Reserve Bank of India. But only four PBs are operational out of the 11 licensed players, the SBI note said.

The SBI report said PBs face stringent regulations on both the asset and liability side. On the asset side, they face a blanket ban on any type of lending. On the liability side, they cannot accept deposits higher than Rs 1 lakh. Besides, the capital requirement is quite steep with a capital to risk weighted assets ratio of 15 percent.