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Vodafone India completes pan-India M-Pesa rollout in Q4-FY14

Vodafone m-pesa

Vodafone India which operates the mobile payment service M-Pesa through its wholly owned subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd (MCSL), has completed the pan-India rollout of the service in March 2014, about one year since its India launch and about 16 months after the initial announcement. The company has disclosed this in its earnings results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 (Q4-FY14).

Vodafone India had also mentioned this last month during the M-Pesa launch in Andhra Pradesh (we missed it then). It claims the service is now available across 60,000 agent outlets, covering over 1.2 million customers pan-India. However, there is currently no information how many users are actively using this service or how it is performing in terms of transactions or amount transacted.

In comparison, M-Pesa’s competitor Airtel Money had reported to have an active base of 1.7 million for Q4-FY14, up from 1.3 million in the previous quarter. The total number of transactions was at 38 million, up 25.8% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) while the amount transacted was at Rs 1,364.2 crore for the quarter, up 10.2% growth QoQ.

Cash Disbursement Pilots: Last month, Vodafone had mentioned that it was currently in the process of enabling National Rural Health Mission (NHM) disbursements in Bihar and Jharkhand on a pilot basis. It had also stated plans of enabling money disbursement through Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) through M-Pesa.

There was also reports of another pilot program in March this year, through which customers would be able to withdraw money from M-Pesa outlets. M-Pesa business head Suresh Sethi had then mentioned that the pilot would be launching in April. However, there doesn’t seem to be any further updates on this development.

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Other players: Besides Airtel Money, Tata DOCOMO has a license through its wholly owned subsidiary MMP Mobi Wallet Payment Systems and had partnered with ICICI Bank for mRupee money transfer and payment service. Last December, the telco had stated plans to extend the service to 26 Indian cities by the end of this fiscal (FY-14).

Idea Cellular had received a five-year prepaid mobile wallet license in December 2013 and has a partnership with Axis Bank for mobile money transfer services. Reliance Jio which has a pan-India unified license had also received a mobile wallet license for a prepaid payment instrument called ‘Jio Money’ in November 2013.

M-Pesa Timeline

November 2012: Vodafone India had partnered with ICICI Bank to launch M-Pesa in India.

April 2013: M-Pesa was officially launched. It was initially offered in Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand through over 8300 authorized agents. Jonathan Bill, the then Head (Business Development and Innovation), Vodafone India had stated plans of integrating M-Pesa payments with its mobile billing platform for developers and service d. While the mobile billing API was launched in January this year, it’s not clear on whether the telco still plans to integrate M-Pesa to this API.

August 2013: M-Pesa was launched in Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region), Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh (East).

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November 2013: Vodafone had reported to have 300,000 registered customers and 30,000 agents. It had also extended the service to Assam and other North Eastern states.

January 2014: M-Pesa was launched in Gujarat and Haryana and had mentioned that the service is now available in 11 circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar-Jharkhand, Rajasthan, UP East, UP West, Maharashtra & Goa and Assam & North East. It had stated plans to complete the pan India rollout this year.

February 2014: M-Pesa was launched in Odisha.

March 2014: M-Pesa launched in Tamil Nadu. In the following week, it was rolled out to Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. M-Pesa business head Suresh Sethi had also stated plans of launching a pilot program through which customers would be able to withdraw money from M-Pesa outlets.

April 2014: M-Pesa completed pan-India rollout by launching it in Andhra Pradesh.

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