A CANADIAN software company announced last week that it has been selected to power Digicel’s recently launched “cellmoni” mobile money service. Telepin Software is a leading provider of mobile money transaction platform, delivering mobile operators the most efficient and cost effective way to control their distribution network, maximise revenues from mobile financial services and drive innovative mobile financial applications.
Digicel’s “cellmoni” offers Papua New Guineans a range of financial services, including the ability to transfer money to friends and family anywhere in the country. Also powered by Telepin and hosted on the Digicel network are Post PNG’s MobileSMK and Nationwide Microbank’s MiCash.
Telepin’s Cayman transaction platform was used by all three providers for mobile financial services (MFS) offerings. The service was regulated by the Bank of PNG and had been developed in partnership with Pacific financial inclusion programme to promoting financial inclusion within PNG and the region. Telepin’s chief executive officer Vincent Kadar said PNG represented interesting challenges and opportunities for a mobile money system. “There appears to be a great demand for a system that enhances cash safety, which would include mobile phone transfers and a means to transact, store and accumulate value for later use. “Digicel, Post PNG and Nationwide Microbank are responding to these challenges by delivering best in class mobile money solutions that extend value to PNG mobile subscribers, merchant networks, and ecosystem partners,” he said.
Telepin MFS products provide mobile operators the ability to deliver robust financial services offering to their subscriber and merchant customers. The software plugs seamlessly into existing mobile infrastructure, leveraging the investments already made in charging systems, replenishment systems, and value added service delivery platforms. Telepin MFS solutions enable mobile operators to
n Differentiate and extend communications networks to cooperate with financial community
n Meet subscribers’ need for convenience and desire to leverage mobile devices for additional capabilities
n Address merchants’ desire to incorporate mobile commerce as a payment mechanism, and
n Mitigate concerns for security, privacy and reliability.
Digicel Pacific’s regional head of mobile financial services Annie Smith said with Telepin, “cellmoni” has had great success in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Vanuatu.
“We believe cellmoni will have an even bigger impact here in PNG where security risks establish a clear need for a more secure financial solution for the more than 4.5 million Papua New Guineans with Digicel mobile coverage living mostly in rural areas,” she said. Nationwide Microbank Limited is the first licensed financial institution in Papua New Guinea to introduce mobile money. Managing Director of Nationwide Microbank Tony Westaway, said MiCash’ builds on the concept and provides a lot more than SMS banking, where a transaction can include anything from transferring funds to a friend or “wantok’s” Mobile phone, to depositing and withdrawing cash from an agent network. MiCash also enables the account holder to check balances, purchase airtime top up, buy goods and services and pay bills. “MiCash is unique as it is both a bank account and mobile wallet. It provides secure access to all the services one would expect from a Bank. As 85 percent of Papua New Guineans do not have access to financial services; MiCash is an initiative of Nationwide Microbank to “bank the unbanked,” he said. Post PNG has evolved its domestic money transfer service called Salim Moni Kwik (SMK) or “send money quickly”, from a fax service to the mobile phone. Post PNG will extend, in the next few months, mobileSMK to include international money transfer in cooperation with Western Union. “mobileSMK has taken the paper out of sending money and gone to the air,” said Post PNG Project Manager, Brendan Thomas. “Our focus is to get to every part of PNG, including the rural areas and the grassroots, not just the urban centres and mine sites. We believe that our new mobile financial service, mobileSMK, is achieving this objective. Already many mobileSMK customers are receiving their loans on to their mobileSMK account from major financial institutions.”