Vodafone Plans Nationwide M-Pesa Launch
After signing a pact to drive financial inclusion in India in January 2011, Vodafone India and ICICI Bank finally launched mobile money transfer and payment service M-Pesa in the eastern parts of the country in April 2013. BMI has been bullish about the growth prospects of mobile financial services in emerging Asia given its underdeveloped traditional banking system, and we believe that operators such as Vodafone India, which have ample experience gained from their African operations, should see a good degree of success being replicated in the region.
Vodafone India and ICICI Bank originally planned to launch M-Pesa by end-2012 through their subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions . The reason for the delay was not disclosed , but the service is now available in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand through 8,300 authorised agents while a nationwide roll-out will be done in a phased manner. A trial of Vodafone India's M-Pesa service ( then branded as M-Paisa) was launche d in Rajasthan in November 2011 with HDFC Bank .
Mobile financial services is a growing market in India as it leverages on the proliferation of mobile services and low-cost handsets to reach out to the significant under-banked population. The variety of service providers such as mobile wallet provider Beam , which has more than 14mn customers, Bharti Airtel and Loop Mobile has also helped to drive adoption. The potential also extends to other emerging markets in Asia . For example, the number of mobile banking accounts in Pakistan increased by 156% year-on-year to 1.4mn in end-June 2012, and the total value of the 28mn transactions in Q212 reached PKR115bn (US$1.2bn) ( see our online service, April 16, 'Mobile Banking: Further Room For Growth' ). We are also seeing similar trends in other regions such as Paraguay in Latin America ( see 'MFS Realising Its Potential', April 18 ).
|High Hopes For India|
|Safaricom M-Pesa Subscriber And Revenue Growth|