A new cross-border mobile money service launched in the Pacific
The Pacific E-commerce Initiative welcomes the launch of a new feature connecting Vodafone’s M-PAiSA and M-Vatu services and allowing cross-border money transfers. The new feature allows greater convenience to remit funds across the borders from Fiji to Vanuatu paving way for inclusive digital transfer solutions and instantaneous transfer.
The new service directly implements Measure 5.1.4 of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap (Strategy) by promoting the use of fintech-based solutions for transferring remittances. According to the Strategy, large sections of the Forum Island Countries (FICs) are unbanked. The feature not only puts in place an alternative money transfer service, but also provides an inclusive remittance service and electronic currency needed to engage in online purchases for the unbanked.
The project was made possible by Vodafone Fiji, in partnership with mHITS, the leading Australian FinTech mobile remittance pioneer, and the UNCDF, with financing from Australia and the European Union through the Pacific Digital Economy Programme.
“Vodafone Fiji will add the international money transfer service to the growing suite of services available under its MPAiSA digital wallet”, said Mr Shailendra Prasad, Head of Vodafone Fiji eCommerce & Digital Financial Services.
“We are privileged to be able to participate in this wonderful initiative” says mHITs founder and CEO, Mr Harold Dimpel, “Together with our partners Vodafone Fiji and assistance from the UNCDF, we are able to make a very positive impact on the region by allowing money to move more easily.”
UNCDF Country Coordinator for Fiji, Ms Yenlin De Silva said: “This is a great outcome from the Fintech challenge we organised last year as this initiative will bring about market change and help reduce the cost of remittances in the Pacific. We are grateful to the Australian Government for supporting us with this initiative.”
The initiative emerged in 2022, as a winning fintech-based solution promoting the transfer of remittances at the Pacific Islands Fintech Innovation Challenge held in Singapore co-hosted by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and UNCDF. The launch is a milestone step towards a region-wide adoption for Vodafone’s digital wallet services to its sister services including M-Tala in Samoa, e-Moni in Cook Islands and M-PAiSA in Kiribati.