In India, Telcos Ride Piggy Back on Migrant Workers, Bet Big on Mobile Money

Monday, June 2, 2014

KOCHI: If the initial responses are any indication, the ubiquitous mobile phone is set to become a tool for financial inclusion in Ernakulam district.

The mobile fund transfer facility launched by telecom companies Vodafone and Airtel have made rapid strides, particularly among the migrant work force, in the district. Excited by the feedback of customers, the companies are planning to offer more services soon.

“The target customers for the mobile money transfer service of the company are the migrant labourers from Bihar, northeast states, Orissa and UP. Currently they are staying in places like Perumbavoor, Kazhakootam, Vadakara, Edavanna and Payyipad. The Metro Rail construction in Kochi and the plywood industry in Perumbavoor employ a lot of migrant workers. M-Pesa is mainly used for money transfer, mobile recharges and DTH service subscriptions and utility bills. NREGA and microfinance are two areas where there is a huge opportunity,” said S Murali, business head – Kerala, Vodafone India.

The services currently popular among customers are recharging of phones and DTH connections, bill payments, money transfer, travel and movie ticket booking and transactions in fuel pumps.

Source: The New India Express (link opens in a new window)

Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion