The product is called M-PESA as “Pesa” is the Swahili term for money and “M” stands for mobile. M-Pesa is being used as a payment mechanism to enable many other services that can improve people’s lives. It was launched in India as a close partnership with HDFC bank in November 2011. Development for the bank began as early as 2008. The service continues to operate in a limited geographical area in India. Vodafone India had partnered with both HDFC and ICICI bank, ICICI launched M-Pesa on 18 April 2013. Vodafone plans to rollout this service throughout India. It is the world’s most successful money transfer service which enables millions of people who have access to a mobile phone, but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account, to send and receive money, top-up airtime and make bill payments.
It is just a matter of some rupees:
The user needs to register for this service by paying 200 Rupees and there are charges levied per M-Pesa transaction.
How does it work?
Customers register for the service at an authorized agent, often this is a small mobile phone store or retailer, and then deposit cash in exchange for electronic money which they can send to their family or friends. Once they have registered all transactions are completed securely by entering a PIN number and both parties receive an SMS confirming the amount that has been transferred. The recipient, who does not have to use the same network, receives the electronic money in real-time and then redeems it for cash by visiting another agent.
What are the services?
M-PESA helps customers to cut costs, increase convenience and reduce risk of carrying cash by allowing them to transact their accounts from the nearest M-PESA agent, instead of travelling to a bank branch, it offers various useful services:
- Send money to any bank account or mobile number in just a few steps.
- Recharge your Vodafone Prepaid with m-pesa and keep talking.
- Recharge on time so you don’t miss your favourite TV shows.
- Need cash? Withdraw from your m-pesaTM account easily anytime.
- Pay your Vodafone Postpaid bill directly from your phone.
It changed lives:
- With this innovative use of technology it has become easy, instant and simple for the customers to transfer money and make payments beyond the traditional methods of making payments
- M-Pesa accounts can be used by the customer’s at their convenience in order to make to deposits and withdraw cash from the designated outlets. Sending money to any mobile phone throughout the nation and remit money to any bank account has become a matter of minutes.
- Sixty five per cent of M-Pesa’s 1.1 million customers are in the rural areas. M-Pesa has joined hands with the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MG-NREGA) in Odisha to provide mobile-based wage payments for NREGA workers. It has also partnered with the NHRM (National Rural Health Management) project in Bihar and Jharkhand to promote health care in the rural belts.
M-Pesa has also tied up with the TABCab service in Mumbai to empower institutional cash management, instant and easy cash management among its 1,400 fleet cabs and consumers. Political parties too have found it useful. The Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party use the platform to accept donations.