The UK-based Vodafone Group will close on 1 December the payment service M-Pesa launched by its subsidiary Vodafone Romania, writes local paper Ziarul Financiar. M-Pesa was launched in Romania in March 2014 and allows customers to transfer money and pay bills. Romania was the first European country in 2014 in which the group decided to launch the service. The service was launched in Albania in 2015, according Telecompaper. The British group hoped that M-Pesa would become a mass service in Romania, given that the statistical data indicated a potentially favorable context: 43 percent of the Romanians with ages over 15 years did not use financial services when the service was launched in 2014, the paper said.
According to former Vodafone Romania CEO Ravinder Takkar, the service reached a portfolio of several hundred thousand customers at one point. The mobile company set up to manage the payment service, Vodafone Romania M-Payments, posted a turnover of RON 0.6 million for 2016. It also recorded net losses of RON 11.8 million and debts of RON 5.2 million. It also had an average of 37 employees.