Immediate mobile payments come to Europe, M-Pesa to India

Payment processing firm Visa Europe has introduced a service allowing consumers to make mobile payments across the region immediately and using any European currency. Meanwhile in India, popular money transfer and payment service M-Pesa has now been fully launched.

Visa Europe’s Personal Payments service enables Visa credit, debit or prepaid card users to accept payments from another Visa cardholder without needing to share any account details. Customers need to register for the service and know either the mobile phone number or Visa card number of the person they are sending a payment to. They can then make payments using a smartphone app offered by the sender’s bank.

Visa Europe announced the launch of its Mobile Person-to-Person payments back in September 2011, but it wasn’t until last month that RBS and NatWest became the first banks to launch the service via their mobile banking apps.

The payment provider said its personal payments system now has 17 “live and committed issuers” across Europe, with the announcement that it has made changes in the payment clearing and settlement processes. The changes have seen fund transfer time reduced from one to two days to immediately, and Visa Europe expects more firms to begin supporting the service as a result.

The multi-currency feature, which will be available by the end of 2013, also simplifies international money transfers to mobile devices.

Meanwhile, M-Pesa has now been fully launched in India by Vodafone India and local bank ICICI, following a pilot which began in November 2012. By launching the service in India, Vodafone hopes to help approximately 700 million Indian citizens who previously had no access to conventional banking.

The service, which was first launched by Vodafone in Kenya in 2007, allows customers to send and receive small sums of money via their phones as securely and simply as sending a text message.

The service will now be launched in eastern areas of India by more than 8,300 specially trained and authorised M-Pesa agents. The service will be rolled out across the rest of India in a phased approach, said Vodafone.


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