Telecom major Vodafone India and ICICI Bank on Monday launched mobile money transfer and payment service 'M-Pesa' in Assam and other North Eastern states.
Launching 'M-Pesa' in Guwahati, the company's operations director (east) Bjas Murthy said the trademark service of Vodafone would empower the unbanked and under-banked sections of the population gain access to financial services via mobile phone.
'M-Pesa' effectively leverages the combined strengths of Vodafone's global expertise in the domain of mobile payments and significant distribution reach in India plus the security of financial transactions provided by ICICI Bank, Murthy said.
Business head-in Assam and North East, Pushpinder Singh Gujral said the service would now be available in over 350 towns, 130 Tehsils, 40 districts through more than 1,200 specially trained authorised agents and across 91 Vodafone exclusive retail and mini stores in Assam and the Northeast.
The innovative use of mobile technology makes it possible for customers to enjoy a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money and make payments, Gujral said.
Highlighting the relevance of 'M-Pesa' for the residents of Assam and North East, Gujral said, "'M-Pesa' is a safe, secure and convenient service to transfer money and make payments beyond the reach of traditional banking channels. For households where the earning members migrate to larger cities, 'M-Pesa' will be the best way to send money back home."
Using their 'M-Pesa' account, customers can at their convenience deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets, transfer money to any mobile phone in the country, remit money to any bank account in the country, Vodafone Business head (M-Pesa) Suresh Sethi said.
The account can also be used for making payments to recharge mobile, clear utility bills, pay DTH service subscription, shop at select shops and participate in e-commerce/m-commerce, Sethi added.
"Registering for 'M-Pesa' is easy and simple. Vodafone customers need to visit an 'M-Pesa' agent outlet, fill up a form, submit identity, address proofs and deposit a minimum amount along with it to open their 'M-Pesa' account", the Vodafone official said.
'M-Pesa' has been rolled out in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, West Bengal, UP East, UP West, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Goa, he said, adding it would be made available across the country in a phased manner.