At a time when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is moving towards Payment banks, Vodafone subsidiary Vodafone M-Pesa Limited (VMPL) has received a three year renewal of its prepaid wallet license for the organization. Prior to this, Vodafone had a two-year license through its subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd which expired last week.
Vodafone India had mentioned that it had completed the pan-India rollout of M-Pesa in March this year, which was about one year since its India launch and about 16 months since the initial announcement.
In terms of registered users, M-Pesa claims to have 2.1 million registered users for the quarter as against 1.5 million registered users in the previous quarter and 1.2 million registered users in the quarter before.
M-Pesa Bharat BPO tie-up: Vodafone India had also signed a strategic partnership with Bharat BPO, a Spice Digital* group company to integrate M-Pesa as one of the payment options for Bharat BPO’s SMS railway ticket booking service in September this year.
Following this partnership, Vodafone M-Pesa customers could send in their booking details either via SMS or through the 139 Railways Reservation app on Android or Java and enter their ‘M-PIN’ to authorize the transaction. More on that here.
Payment bank applications: As mentioned earlier, Reserve Bank of India has also begun a process for allowing telecom operators and other stakeholders such as prepaid payment instruments services like Airtel Money, Oxigen, Itz cash card, Paytm and Mobikwik to set up Payment Banks, for enabling deposits for money transfer and payments.
Yesterday, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan informed that they will be inviting applications for payment banks by the end of this month, as indicated by a PTI report.
*Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with Medianama