Pesa means money in Swahili language. M-Pesa is a mobile payment service (also a branchless banking) which was first launched by Vodafone in 2007 in Kenya and Tanzania. Since then, this service has been expanded to other countries of Africa, Eastern Europe, Afghanistan and India.
This service allows users to deposit money into an account stored on their cell phones, to send balances using PIN-secured SMS text messages to other users, including sellers of goods and services, and to redeem deposits for regular money. Users are charged a small transaction fee. The key functions done by M-pesa are:
- deposit and withdraw money
- transfer money to other users and non-users
- pay bills
- purchase airtime
- transfer money between the service and a bank account.
In India, this service was first launched by Vodafone in collaboration with HDFC bank in 2011 and ICICI bank in 2013. Currently, it is operating in small area in the country.