Vodafone’s mPesa eyes bite of $800 billion market


Mumbai: Vodafone’s plans for mPesa have got a big boost with the RBI’s decision to allow merchants use digital wallets to accept payments up to Rs 50,000 a month without complying with “know your customer” norms. Ahead of the mPesa payments bank launch in March 2017, Vodafone has launching a new service where retailers can accept wallet payments.

Announcing the launch of its solution for offline merchants, Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood said that the company is following an open system where any mobile company’s customer can use the mPesa app whether Airtel, Jio or any rival network. ‘We support interoperability among wallets,” said Sood. He added that demonetisation will provide a boost to cashless transactions.

“The largest opportunity is the $800-billion offline merchant payment many of who cannot afford the point of sale machine,” said Sood. According to mPesa’s business head Suresh Sethi, the company’s success in Kenya, where mPesa accounts for 40% of GDP has shown that the growth takes off once the network effect kicks in.

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