Vodafone and ICICI Bank on Wednesday jointly launched mobile money transfer and payment services in Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
The service, which is called "M-Pesa", allows a subscriber to transfer money to any bank account or any mobile subscriber registered with "M-Pesa".
It is initially being offered in the East — covering Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand — through over 8300 specially trained authorised agents, and will be rolled out across the country soon, in a phased manner.
"We will roll out pan-India services in 12 to 18 months," said a Vodafone official, adding, "The reason for starting from the Eastern region is that there is a large migrant population from this region."
"Mobile technology has a critical role to play in servicing the unbanked and under serviced sections of the society…Using ‘M-Pesa', we will provide people in remote areas with a convenient way to bank, transfer money and make payments in a safe and secure manner," said Marten Pieters, managing director and chief executive officer, Vodafone India.