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Vodafone’s M-Pesa to allow users to pay electricity bills in UP

By Raidarmax (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Vodafone and the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL), the state’s power distribution company, have signed a partnership to allow consumers in the Uttar Pradesh (East) circle to pay their electricity bills through M-Pesa .

This service can be availed by all Vodafone as well as non- Vodafone customers of UPPCL simply by registering themselves for Vodafone M-Pesa. Customers paying their bills through UPPCL website can also select M-Pesa as a payment option.

Vodafone says that customers can save 5% of the bill amount or a maximum of Rs 50 on their electricity bill for a period of 6 months. This is possibly the savings from transaction fees Vodafone is passing to customers.

The government in February removed surcharge and service tax on digital payments. The department of economic affairs also suggested that government departments, organizations, central public sector undertakings and anchor networks shall take steps to withdraw convenience fee or service charge for digital payments.

At the end of the quarter ended December 31, Vodafone said M-Pesa active user base surged 45% q-o-q to 962,000. While the number of M-Pesa agents stood at 102,000. For the quarter ended December 31, 2014, M-pesa reported 78,000 transactions per day.

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Walmart tie-up: In July 2015, M-Pesa 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 could place an order with the company, after which an M-Pesa authorized agent would reach out to them to load cash into their M-Pesa account. This would allow the members to make payments from their phones for the goods ordered from Walmart’s Best Price Cash & Carry store.

Madhya Pradesh government aid deal: In the same month, M-pesa partnered with Government of Madhya Pradesh to facilitate mobile-based distribution of financial aid to mothers under the Janani Suraksha Yojana scheme, a part of the National Rural Health Mission. The initiative, which will use M-Pesa as the platform to transfer money, has been running in the pilot stages in Vidisha city since May 2015.

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