Vodafone India, along with ICICI Bank, on Wednesday launched its mobile money transfer and payment service, targeting mainly migrant workers.

Called “M-Pesa”, the service was launched across the eastern states of India that include West Bengal (including Kolkata), Bihar and Jharkhand. India has, 30 crore migrant population majority of whom are from here.

According to Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO, Vodafone India, the service will help achieve financial inclusion.

“Vodafone's low cost distribution model can be used to leverage banking services in rural areas. It will bring about financial inclusion,” Mr. Pieters said at the launch in Kolkata.

Under the M-Pesa scheme, customers need to have an M-Pesa account which can be made at the various outlets.

Once an account is made, subscribers can deposit & withdraw cash from select outlets, transfer money within India, make payments to recharge, clear utility bills and for DTH service among others.

Initially, the service (M-PESA) will be restricted to remittances and later extended to the other facilities, like savings bank accounts.

“We hope that the money transfer solutions will be used by the huge migrant population here,” Mr. Pieters said.

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