M-Pesa to break into the European market this year, beginning in Romania
Vodafone has announced that its M-Pesa mobile payments service will be launched in Romania, signifying the service’s first entry into the European market. M-Pesa has existed in Africa since 2007 and has done much to transform commerce in several African countries. The service is often praised for its convenient nature and the fact that it can be used on older mobile devices. The service is text-based, which means that it can be used by a wide range of consumers with feature phones. These devices are still quite plentiful throughout the world.
Payments service to help satisfy the need for conventional banking services
Using the M-Pesa service, Romanian consumers will be able to make use of approximately $7,000 a day. This money can be transferred from one account to another or used to purchase products at stores. Vodafone claims that the majority of people in Romania have at least one mobile device, but one-third of the country’s population does not have access to conventional banking services. M-Pesa may be able to satisfy the demand that consumers have for mobile services and the platform may be able to help make these services more convenient in the future.
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17 million people make use of the M-Pesa platform
M-Pesa is currently used by more than 17 million people in Africa. Over the coming months, the service will be introduced through more than 300 Vodafone stores located in Romania. This will expand to 2,000 stores by the end of 2014. Vodafone anticipates that 6 million people throughout the country will be making use of the service by the end of the year. The majority of these people are expected to live in dense population centers.
M-Pesa processes $900 million in mobile payments every month
M-Pesa processes approximately $900 million transactions every month and has become the most widely used mobile payments service in Africa. Vodafone has been keeping track of the rise in demand for mobile commerce services in other parts of the world and believes that the time is right to begin expanding into new markets beyond Africa.