Vodafone has extended its M-Pesa service to Ghana.

M-Pesa, which enables users to send and receive money, top up airtime and make bill payments, will operate under the Vodafone Cash brand in the African country.

It follows a pilot launched in August this year.

The UK-based operator said around 15 million people – approximately 64 percent of the population of Ghana – do not have bank accounts.

The country marks the 11th market in which Vodafone has launched the service.

Usage has increased 27 percent year-on-year to reach 23.4 million active customers, the operator said.

More than two billion individual M-Pesa transactions were carried out in the six months to September 2015, up 26 percent compared to the same period last year.

Vodafone Albania launched M-Pesa in May 2015, the second Vodafone market in Europe to offer the service.

Vodafone Director of Mobile Money Michael Joseph said: “Vodafone Cash extends the revolution of mobile money to Ghana, liberating our customers from the risks associated with carrying cash at all times. 

“The strong demand for the service following the pilot launched in August shows that Ghanaians greatly value the freedom, peace of mind, security and convenience that M-Pesa offers.”

[Read more: M-payments – last call for operators as window of opportunity closes]

Vodafone saw earnings and sales return to growth in the six months to September.

Growth was driven by Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pac, where service revenues increased 6.4 percent year-on-year to £5.9 billion (€8.3 billion).

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