IN a few clicks, Life Insurance Corporation of India opened itself to 289 new centres across the Fiji after making policy payments available through Vodafone Fiji's mobile money ù M-PAiSA yesterday.
The initiative was termed as futuristic and ground breaking by the companies.
The Indian High Commissioner, Vinod Kumar, officiated at the launching of the service which should see more people in rural areas take up LICI's microinsurance product.
M-PAiSA manager Shailendra Prasad said the bill payment was the first of many things. The two parties were also looking at ways of making insurance payments available through M-PAiSA.
Pacific Financial Inclusion Program financial inclusion adviser Tillman Bruett commended the two parties for making the "solution" possible considering the shoestring budget they were given.
"This unique home grown package is a first for Fiji and greatly enhances the use of mobile technology and contributes significantly for greater financial inclusion," a statement by both companies said.
"While LICI is looking at using this facility to reach out to its micro-insurance customers to facilitate their premium payments, the facility can be used by any customer of LICI who is registered with Vodafone M-PAiSA. The service comes free of charge to the customer and is a value addition to both LICI and Vodafone customers
"Through this facility, it is now possible for LICI customers living in remote rural areas and outer islands to access life insurance and pay their premiums using the mobile network. In future the facility can be extended to settle insurance claims and other insurance services as well."
The solution is the first for the Pacific. Since its launch last year, mobile money has grown in leaps and bounds with most utility and housing payments available from handsets. What's next? We understand it will be international money transfer.