Vodacom and Nedbank bring M-PESA to South Africa

Vodacom this week confirmed that it has partnered with Nedbank to bring M-PESA, Vodafone‘s mobile money transfer solution, to South Africa.
M-PESA‘s key feature is that it allows users to make peer-to-peer payments using their mobile phones, without either party needing to have a bank account. Deposits and withdrawals are effected through a network of agents, such as airtime resellers and retail outlets. Other functionality offered by M-PESA includes bill payments and airtime purchases.M-PESA agent
Both Vodacom and Nedbank have alluded to how this service will impact the lives of those who are not yet part of the formal banking system in South Africa. According to FinScope 2009, around 40% of South African adults do not have a bank account of any kind (up from 37% in 2008) – certainly a significant sector of the market. And because M-PESA doesn‘t rely on a branch or ATM network for deposits and withdrawals, it is particularly well-suited to countries that have vast rural areas with no existing banking infrastructure.
M-PESA was first launched in Kenya in 2007, where it has been enormously successful, particularly amongst urban workers needing a secure and quick way to transfer funds to their family members in rural areas. M-PESA is now also operational in Tanzania and Afghanistan, and has gathered over 10 million users.
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