Vodafone mobile money services M-Pesa reached Delhi today, while it will be unveiled in Mumbai on Thursday.
Presence in Delhi and Mumbai is significant for Vodafone to succeed in the mobile money market. Currently, language barriers — primarily because of non-compatible handsets — and lack of interest in transferring huge funds are impacting the mobile money growth in India.
Vodafone India has tried to solve the language barrier through 4-language support and IVR systems.
Vodafone M-Pesa, a mobile payment service in association with ICICI Bank, will be available in 1400 M-Pesa outlets in the Delhi NCR region. At present, there are only 2085 bank branches in the region which is considered a trigger for launching M-Pesa in Delhi.
M-Pesa is primarily meant for migrated people who want to send money to their home towns.
At present, Vodafone M-Pesa, which was launched in December 2012, is growing slow. It is primarily used for utility payments and not for mobile transfers.
“But there are changes. People are accepting our M-Pesa services,” Suresh Sethi, business head – Vodafone M-Pesa. Vodafone has around 9 million mobile users in the Delhi NCR region. The mobile services are available through around 43,000 retail outlets across the Delhi NCR region. “Also, launch of mobile money service in Delhi and Mumbai will trigger the growth of M-Pesa users across the country as there is a huge migrated population reside in these two cities,” said Subrat Padhi, business head – Delhi Circle, Vodafone India.
Vodafone has 31 Vodafone stores and more than 1,000 Vodafone mini stores.
Vodafone M-Pesa is growing globally. India is the eight market. Egypt and Romania will be added to Vodafone mobile money market shortly.
Till now, around Rs 6,000 crore has been transmitted through Vodafone M-Pesa network globally. It has around 96,000 agents globally. But success in India is too far.
M-Pesa – a mobile money transfer and payment service – is designed to help 700 million Indians who had no access to conventional banking.
Launched by Vodafone in 2007, M-Pesa is now available in eight countries — Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo – allowing users to send and receive small amounts of money via their mobile phones.
In India, the mobile money service is offered initially through more than 8,300 trained and authorized M-Pesa agents in eastern areas of India, including Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.