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ICICI Bank, Vodafone to launch mobile payment service m-pesa

ICICI Bank has joined hands with telecom operator Vodafone India, one of India’s largest telecom service providers, to launch a mobile money transfer and payment service, ‘m-pesa’,  Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank and Marten Pieters, MD & CEO, Vodafone India said.

m-pesa will be run by a 100 percent subsidiary of ICICI Bank and Vodafone India called Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd (MCSL). m-pesa will offer a mobile money account with ICICI Bank and a mobile wallet  issued by MCSL.

m-pesa will enable customers to deposit and withdraw cash from designated outlets,  make money transfers to any mobile phone in India and to other bank accounts, mobile payment services including purchase of mobile recharge, recharge of DTH services and utility bill payments.

The mobile payment service will be launched initially in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand and will be rolled out to other parts of the country in a phased manner.

Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “This partnership will bring together the strengths of our respective brands and our complementary capabilities.”

Marten Pieters, MD & CEO, Vodafone India said, “After an in-depth understanding of the Indian customer insights, we concluded that there is tremendous potential for this product in India.  This offering has been customised to serve the Indian customer”.

m-Pesa competes with Airtel’s mobile payment service in association with Axis Bank, which was launched in May and later rolled out to 300 cities in the country.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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