Vodafone, HDFC Bank launch rural mobile banking

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 28, 2011

Telecom service provider Vodafone India and HDFC Bank launched m-paisa, a mobile banking service in Rajasthan to enable millions of unbanked Indians leverage use of mobile phones for banking transactions.

“Vodafone m-paisa is a great opportunity to improve financial inclusion through mobile banking. It is a pioneering initiative modeled on the lines of Vodafone’s m-pesa product running in three different countries of Africa, offering more than 17 million people, basic financial services, beyond the reach of traditional banking,” said Sunil Sood, Director, Business Operations, Vodafone India.

According to HDFC, there are 600,000 habitations but only around 89,000 bank branches in the country, making access to banking services difficult in remote areas.

“With this in mind, the partnership between HDFC Bank and Vodafone India is path-breaking as it leverages the telco’s significant distribution reach and provides customers the security of financial transactions offered by a bank,” said Rahul Bhagat, Country Head, Retail Liabilities, Marketing and Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank.

HDFC Bank has appointed a Vodafone India subsidiary company as a Corporate Business Correspondent, thereby allowing the telco’s select retailers to represent the bank as sub-agents. By providing banking transactions at such sub-agents, this HDFC Bank-Vodafone India partnership effectively delivers last mile access to remote areas.

According to the bank, customers can now perform basic banking transactions on the mobile phone and even deposit and withdraw cash, at appointed Vodafone m-paisa outlets, without having to go to bank branches.

In Rajasthan, the first state, where this national partnership has been implemented, over 2,200 retailers across 320 villages and 54 towns are already operational in opening HDFC Bank Mobile Bank Accounts with Vodafone m-paisa. Transactions include cash deposit, cash withdrawal, money transfer and balance enquiry.