Mobile money services now available in Vanuatu

November 1, 2019

Port Vila, Vanuatu – Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL), launched its mobile money product M-Vatu on 23 October 2019 in the presence of Mr Peter Tarimakem, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.

This new service by TVL will provide registered customers a secure platform to send and receive money in Vanuatu using a mobile phone. Registration to access the M-Vatu services will be free of cost. Customers will soon be able to use a range of services available on the platform; airtime top-up, bill and salary payments, utility payments, and international remittances. To access this service, customers can be on either post-paid or pre-paid and do not need to have a bank account. In the initial phase, M-Vatu will be available across Port Vila, Santo, Tanna and Malekula with plans to extend the roll out in the outer islands by end of 2020.

“Vanuatu is primarily a cash-based economy. We are confident that people will see value in using mobile money given the convenience, safety and affordability. We also see M-Vatu playing a crucial role in accelerating e-commerce and will soon extend the service to people living in outer islands” said Mr Barlen Lutchmoodoo, Chief Executive Officer of TVL.

He also took this opportunity to recognize the technical and grant assistance provided by Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme for the set-up and roll-out of the mobile money platform and thanked the Australian Government for its continued support.

More info on the pilot with TVL can be found here.

What is M-VATU

M-VATU is electronic value [e-money] backed by real money in a conventional bank account.

  • Money transfer by SMS
  • Fast, safe, and easy to use
  • Available to anyone
  • No need to own a bank account
  • No joining fees
  • No monthly charges
  • No minimum balance
  • Pay-as-you go charging model

Current Services offered by M-VATU

  1. Send money
  2. Withdraw cash
  3. Buy credit
  4. Bill payment

Anticipated services by M-VATU

  • Utility payments – Electricity Bills, Water Bills, Provident Funds etc.
  • International Money Transfers (inward remittances from overseas to largely benefit seasonal workers)
  • Salary payments
  • Merchant payments [in store]
  • Facilitating microfinance and other banking services

About Telecom Vanuatu Limited

Telecom Vanuatu Ltd is fully owned by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Ltd (ATH). The M-Vatu product has been developed with technical assistance from Vodafone Fiji, which is a subsidiary of ATH. The M-Vatu mobile money product is modelled on Vodafone Fiji’s M-Paisa with technical and grant assistance from the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme.

Additional information please contact Naomi de Groot, naomi.de.groot@uncdf.org or +679 8968900.