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My Vodafone app is forcing customers to create an m-Pesa wallet

My Vodafone app, which lets the telecom company’s subscribers to manage their bills, recharges and usage, has been forcing customers to create an mPesa wallet in the latest update. MediaNama confirmed this after reports of some Twitter users said that customers needed to create an m-Pesa account to use to app.

Earlier, the My Vodafone app allowed customers to access their bills and check their usage. It also allowed them pay via cards or netbanking and the mPesa wallet. However, with the latest version of the app has no recourse if a customer does not accept the terms and conditions which would create an m-Pesa wallet. We have written to the telecom operator on why it is forcing customers to create a wallet and will update once we hear from them.

The move comes at a time when many other telecom operators are launching or readying their payments bank operations. Vodafone India said it is planning to launch its payments bank by March, according to the company’s Managing Director Sunil Sood. It is likely that the company is looking to increase its wallet numbers before the launch. Note that wallet licences given by the Reserve Bank of India can be folded into the payments bank, according to guidelines.

Vodafone hasn’t release data on m-Pesa’s Indian users for the March and September 2016 quarters. At the end of the quarter ended December 31 2015, 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.

Meanwhile, rival Airtel Payments Bank has expanded its operations to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka  following the launch of its pilot in Rajasthan in December.

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