News release

Vodafone M-Pesa comes to Europe for the first time

31 March 2014

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.  

Note to Editors

Developed by Vodafone, M-Pesa had approximately 16.8 million active customers as at 31 December 2013 and approximately186,000 authorised agents worldwide.  Vodafone M-Pesa customers make in excess of €900 million worth of person-to-person transactions per month.

Many other businesses are using the service to allow their customers to pay them easily and safely. Additionally in Kenya, Safaricom and Vodafone launched a savings and loans product in November 2012, called M-Shwari, in partnership with the Commercial Bank of Africa.

The addition of Romania continues the expansion of M-Pesa globally, following the launches in Egypt, India, Lesotho and Mozambique, over the past 12 months.

For further information:

www.vodafone.com/media/contact

About Vodafone

Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies with approximately 419 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 31 December 2013. Vodafone has equity interests in telecommunications operations in nearly 30 countries and around 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com