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Vodafone files for Payments Bank licence

By Raidarmax (Own work) [<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>], <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/FileAn_M-Pesa_Payment_Till.JPG">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

[caption id="attachment_128686" align="aligncenter" width="550"] By Raidarmax (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Vodafone has filed an application with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the Payments Bank licence. The company said its exploring options for partnerships and would look to leverage its telco experience in the mobile payments space. Note that RBI’s deadline for accepting payments bank applications ended on the 2nd this month. Previously, Vodafone subsidiary Vodafone M-Pesa Limited (VMPL) has received a three year renewal of its prepaid wallet license in November last year. Prior to this, Vodafone had a two-year license through its subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd which expired the same month. The company will have to merge its prepaid wallet business  if it gets a  payments bank licence. In November, M-Pesa had reported around 0.37 million active users for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, a modest 23% growth from 0.3 million users in the quarter before. In terms of registered users, it claimed to have 2.1 million registered users for that quarter as against 1.5 million registered users in the previous quarter. 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 last 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…

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