October 8, 2011
DIGICEL Pacific launched its low cost international remittance service on Thursday night, which would allow people to send money to Tonga, Fiji and Samoa.
Attorney General and Telecommunications minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the service was good because it would allow Fijians who live or work overseas to send money back home.
Digicel’s Mobile Money service costs a flat fee of NZ$3 and is quick and simple to use with people in New Zealand being able to send money direct to any Digicel mobile phone in the three countries simply by visiting www.digicelmobilemoney.com.
“The innovative service is a safer and more convenient method to transfer money with no bank account required by the recipient. Money on the phone can be used as a mobile wallet to buy food and household goods, pay bills, buy or send Digicel Top Up credit, or withdraw cash – and purchases and cash withdrawals can be made at over 300 participating stores and service agents throughout the Pacific Islands,” a statement from the company said.
Digicel customers in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji have been using mobile wallets for domestic transactions; but this is the first time in the Pacific that international money transfers are possible via the internet and direct to a mobile wallet. The service will initially launch in the three markets with plans already in progress to expand the offering to allDigicel Pacific countries.
“Thanks to our extensive Pacific network, established retail footprint and proud track record of reducing the cost of mobile services, Digicel is uniquely positioned to offer a real alternative to the traditional bricks and mortar-based remittance models. With some money transfer operators charging up to 20 per cent per transaction, our aim is to make mobile money services available and accessible to all,” says Vanessa Slowey, CEO of Digicel Pacific.
“With over 300 service agents throughout Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, we already have more locations than any money transfer operators, making it easier for Pacific communities to receive money from their families living and working in New Zealand safely and securely.”
The new Mobile Money service complements continuing initiatives to introduce competition and lower remittance fees by New Zealand’s Ministry for Pacific Island Affairs and Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as AusAID, the World Bank and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Fund.
“International remittances are a major source of financial security for households across the Pacific and a major contributor to economic activity in many countries. Making remittances cheaper, more convenient and faster will make a big difference in the lives of Pacific Islanders and we are happy to work with Digicel and its partners in this effort,” says Tillman Bruett, Financial Inclusion Advisor and Project Manager, Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme.
Digicel Mobile Money international transfers are the result of a collaboration between Digicel Pacific Limited andKlickEx, a New Zealand-developed online currency exchange platform.