Vodafone M-Pesa – the mobile money transfer and payment service that has transformed the lives of millions of people in emerging markets – has come to Europe for the first time.
M-Pesa, which launches in Romania today, will offer simple, safe and secure mobile money transfer and payment services to approximately seven million Romanians who transact mainly in cash. The service also offers banked customers the convenience of being able to access and transfer money via the mobile phone.
M-Pesa is based on simple text messaging technology and operates over any of Vodafone Romania’s mobile network connections, including 4G services which launched in 2012. Romanian M-Pesa customers will be able to transfer as little as one new Romanian leu (0.22 euro cents) up to 30,000 lei (€6,715) per day.
Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph said: “The majority of people in Romania have at least one mobile device, but more than one third of the population do not have access to conventional banking. Vodafone M-Pesa is already used regularly by nearly 17 million customers and we look forward to bringing the significant benefits of the service to the people of Romania.”
From today, Vodafone M-Pesa can be activated at any one of around 300 Vodafone Romania stores and participating retail outlets as well as through authorised agents, and will be accessible to approximately six million people in both rural and urban areas. It will be extended to other parts of the country, comprising a total of 2,000 retail and distribution points of presence by the end of 2014.
M-Pesa also will allow Vodafone Romania’s customers to top up pre-pay airtime on a mobile device, pay utility bills, make a deposit and withdraw cash from participating agents, and purchase goods such as flowers, a newspaper and a coffee.