After almost 2 years, telecom service provider Vodafone India is gearing up to launch its mobile payment solution M-Pesa across India. Having launched M-Pesa in association with banking solutions provider ICICI Bank way back in 2012, the service has been continually expanded to cover about 11 states so far. The service too, seems to be getting positive response with 300,000 registered users and 30,000 processing agents.
Vodafone’s M-Pesa currently rivals multiple iterations by equally diverse group of companies. From banks to other mobile service providers, mobile wallets and other similar payment solutions have been launched by many companies, each of whom, claim their offering is better than others.
What does M-Pesa offer?
M-Pesa allows consumers to deposit and withdraw cash from Vodafone outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone in India and remit money to any bank account in the country. Apart from transferring money, there are consumer payment services as well, allowing mobile account recharges, utility bill payments, and apparently even shopping at select shops. Essentially Vodafone has a license and accordingly operates a semi-closed mobile wallet that is flexible and ensure Vodafone users can make use of the account as a bank.
Airtel which offers the exact same service under the brand name of Airtel Money has been doing really well and currently rivals the service offered by Vodafone by a wide margin. But this could be due to the fact that Airtel Money had expanded quite some time back as well as the company had been promoting the same very aggressively. The fact that Airtel is currently the largest in terms of subscribers, only helped strengthen the lead.
This could soon change though. Vodafone has been leading Airtel and extending efforts within the rural regions. Taking into consideration the fact that it is the rural areas which are in need of such banking solutions, Vodafone’s M-Pesa, supported by ICICI Bank could secure the lead position. What do you think?
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