Vodafone India’s mobile payments service M-Pesa has entered into a cash management deal with Walmart India, enabling the business members of six Best Price Modern Wholesale stores (owned and operated by Walmart India) to make mobile payments.
Under the deal, Walmart’s Best Price store members can place an order with the company and an M-Pesa authorized agent will reach out to them and load cash into their M-Pesa account. This will allow the members to make payments from their phones for the goods ordered from Walmart’s Best Price Cash & Carry store. After receiving a confirmation message, Walmart India will immediately dispatch goods to the member.
As a part of this partnership, Vodafone claims that M-Pesa will enable transactions for all Walmart members in Lucknow, Amravati, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Guntur to make faster payments.
M-pesa transactions and users
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014, M-pesa reported 78,000 transactions per day. The company reported a decline in total number of active customers, down 8.9% quarter on quarter to 0.337 million, from 0.37 million users in the previous quarter. As much as 86.5% of its registered M-Pesa base is inactive. Vodafone claims that it has a pan-India distribution of over 90,000 agents and more than 3 million customers.
M-Pesa Bharat BPO tie-up
In September last year, Vodafone India had 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. 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.
Payments bank licence
Vodafone has applied for a Payments Bank license with the Reserve Bank of India, along with 40 other companies, including telecom competitors like Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Industries. The Reserve Bank of India had also renewed Vodafone’s PPI license in November.