Private sector lender, ICICI bank has joined hands with Vodafone India to offer mobile money transfer and payment service.
‘M-Pesa' service involves a mobile money account with ICICI Bank and a mobile wallet issued by a subsidiary of Vodafone India, Mobile Commerce Solutions. Using this facility, a customer can withdraw cash from designated outlets, purchase mobile recharge, pay utility bills and transfer money to any mobile phone or bank account in India.
The bank said in a statement, "These services are made convenient using a vast network of authorized agents who will enable the customer to deposit and withdraw cash in and from their account. By facilitating banking transactions at such agent locations, this alliance effectively delivers the last mile access in rural areas".
The main thought behind the partnership is to leverage the strengths of the Vodafone's distribution reach and it also focuses on the security of financial transactions provided by the ICICI Bank.
Mr. Marten Pieters, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Vodafone India said, "This offering has been customized to serve the Indian customer in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements".
The mobile payment service will be launched in the eastern region of the country including Jharkhand and West Bengal initially and then it will be launched in other parts of the country.
Chanda Kochar, Chief Executive and Managing Director of ICICI Bank said, "m-pesa will allow us to provide basic banking services to millions of customers spread across the country. This will help us reach out to segments that currently do not have access to banking services, towards our objective of achieving greater financial inclusion".