VODAFONE M-PESA FELICITATED BY THE RAJASTHAN GOVERNMENT FOR EMPOWERING WOMEN & FINANCIAL INCLUSION THRU 6000 RURAL SHGS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH RGAVP

· Vodafone had tied up with Rajasthan Grameen Aaajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP) where M-Pesa is empowering rural women for doing banking transactions from mobile.
· Performance of pilot project in 3 blocks recognised by Shri Surendra Goyal, Rural Development Minister
· Over Rs. 1.55 Cr transactions made through Vodafone M-Pesa under 6 months’ pilot project

Rajasthan, Feb 9, 2016: Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecom service providers, was recognised by Government of Rajasthan for empowering rural women in Village Organisation (VO)/ Self Help Groups (SHGs) through Vodafone M-Pesa, in a partnership with Rajasthan Grameen Ajeevika Vikas Parishad (RGAVP). Shri. Surendra Goyal, Rural Development Minister, Government of Rajasthan presented this award to Vodafone for successful completion and performance of the pilot in 3 blocks. Additionally, Vodafone India was also awarded another 7 blocks by RGAVP to implement its M-Pesa service for over 6000 SHGs for instant deposits to their saving account using the mobile wallet.

Amit Bedi, Business Head – Rajasthan Circle, Vodafone India said, “We are grateful to the Government of Rajasthan for this recognition and feel encouraged that our efforts towards supporting financial inclusion and creating empowerment are appreciated. We are also delighted to extend our M-Pesa offering with RGAVP in another 7 blocks. The partnership started 6 months ago as a pilot in 3 blocks of Rajasthan viz Anandpuri in Banswara district, Baap in Jodhpur district and Sankar in Jaisalmer district. Vodafone M-Pesa has ensured that women who had to earlier walk for 15-20 kms for money transactions can now just reach their SHG meeting points within the village for sending and receiving money. Under the successful pilot run, women in these 3 blocks have made over Rs. 1.55 crore transactions at SHG meeting points by instant deposits to their account using the mobile wallet – Vodafone M-Pesa. We look forward to making meaningful contributions as we extend our services to the 7 blocks.”

With the success of the pilot run, RGAVP has awarded another 7 blocks of Rajasthan namely – Chipabarod of Baran, Asind of Bhilwara, Kekri of Ajmer, Jhadol of Udaipur, Bakani of Jhalawar, Simalwara of Dungarpur and Balesar of Jodhpur. All these blocks constitute around 6000 SHGs and all of them walk nearly 15-20 kms for depositing money in bank.

RGAVP gives small loans to women in poor families in the form of cash. Loans are given to the Village Organisation (VO)/ Self Help Group (SHG) leaders and cashiers who drive the business. These loan amounts are disbursed in the form of cash and repayment amount is collected periodically. With Vodafone M-Pesa wallet, the loan amount will be deposited instantly by the leaders to the individual savings account. Instant confirmation in the form of SMS is sent to the individual handsets. Instead on travelling 15-20 kms in most case for cash transaction, Vodafone M-Pesa facilitates instant, safe and secure cash transaction for the poor in Rajasthan.

Vodafone India provides customers with a new currency in the form of M-Pesa, the world renowned mobile wallet and money transfer service. Vodafone M-Pesa is an innovative, safe and secure mobile wallet enables complete suite of services like money transfer, bill payments, and recharge on the move from the mobile.

Service provided by over 7500+ agents and over 294 Vodafone retail outlets (262 VMS and 32 VS) spread across 34 districts of Rajasthan, Vodafone M-Pesa is the largest banking correspondent in the state and is playing a vital role in enabling financial inclusion and m-commerce.

About Vodafone India

Vodafone India is a 100% fully owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group Plc. with operations across the country serving over 194 million customers (over 100 million in rural areas). Commencing operations in 2007, Vodafone is today India’s largest foreign direct investor, with a robust, award winning business and committed for the long term. Vodafone Business Services serves the needs of enterprises and government by providing total telecommunications (Voice and Data) solutions across mobility and wireline platforms. Our mobile wallet, M-Pesa is a unique and innovative money transfer service from Vodafone that fosters financial inclusion.

Committed to optimizing the near ubiquitous reach of mobile telephony to address national developmental priorities, the Vodafone Foundation partners is actively engaged in community development initiatives especially in the domains of m-Women, m-Agriculture, m-Education and Disaster Relief. Building on its global experience and expertise, an outreach across India and offering a comprehensive portfolio of technologies- 2G, 3G & 4G, Vodafone is uniquely positioned to actualize the vision of Digital India

Globally, Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 57 more, and has fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 31st December 2015, Vodafone had 461 million mobile customers and 13 million fixed broadband customers. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.