Vodafone hires mobile payment guru, to strengthen Indian mobile money services

Mobile services giant Vodafone has hired Michael Joseph,
the father of mobile payments, to head the global roll-out of m-payments

Joseph, who spent a decade as chief executive officer of
Safaricom, the Kenyan mobile operator, is credited with the success of the M
Pesa mobile payments system which has helped Kenya to leapfrog a stage of
development and kickstart its rural economy, according to a report in Telegraph.co.uk.

The mobile payment guru retired last year and became a
part-time advisor to the World Bank to help establish similar schemes
elsewhere, but has now joined Vodafone as director of mobile payments, to drive
M Pesa in India, and Vodafone’s African markets such as Mozambique, Ghana and

For Vodafone, India will be the biggest market. It is
really right for this product. There are 700 million people without bank
accounts. 230 million of those have mobiles, but there is also a huge market.

It’s also a huge opportunity because of the geography,
but [fraud can occur] so you need to have a passion and to know it can be
successful in order to invest the capital and the time training people,”
Joseph told Telegraph.co.uk

In the countries where M Pesa operates, a network of more
than 60,000 small shops and businesses allows mobile customers to swap their
physical cash for electronic credits, which they can then store securely or
send via SMS.

It is used to make more than $700 million (£446 million)
of payments each month and in Kenya, where it is most successful, it transfers
the equivalent of 20pc of its gross domestic product.

In Kenya, it launched a partnership with a bank that
allows people with less than £1 to open a savings account. Within three months,
140,000 new savings accounts have opened.

The scheme, which takes its name from the Swahili for
money, has enjoyed moderate success in Tanzania and the Philippines, but is
less effective in South Africa and Uganda, where there has not been the same
impetus behind developing the network of stores to act as M Pesa agents.

By Telecomlead.com Team
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