Vodafone Enables International Money Transfer from Cook Islands to M-PAiSA

Monday, 29th April, 2024

Vodafone Fiji, in partnership with mHITs Limited and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), is proud to announce the launch of direct mobile to mobile international money transfer from Cook Islands to Fiji. The service has been enabled by integrating the E-Moni Mobile Wallet in Cook Islands and M-PAiSA in Fiji.   The service makes it very easy for over 3000 Fijians who are working in the Cook Islands mostly in the Tourism sector, to be able to send money to their loved ones back home in Fiji. 

Head of Vodafone eCommerce and Digital Financial Services Mr. Shailendra Prasad said “Vodafone Cook Islands which is part of the ATH Group is the eMoni platform provider in Cooks.  Hence, it has been possible for the two entities to be able to collaborate to make this service available for both our customers”.

Last year, Vodafone enabled cross-border remittance between Vanuatu and Fiji and vice-versa by integrating M-VATU and M-PAiSA mobile money platforms. With the addition of Cooks to Fiji IMT service, another market where Vodafone is a mobile network and mobile money operator has been connected as part of interconnecting the regional markets for cross border remittances.

This initiative is an expansion of the winning proposal submitted for the Pacific Islands Fintech Innovation Challenge hosted by UNCDF in Singapore in 2022.  The objective of this service is to enable cross border remittances between the pacific islands through digital and mobile money platforms.

“Vodafone Fiji is pleased to add Cook Islands to the growing list of countries from where remittances can be received directly into M-PAISA’ said Mr. Prasad. M-PAiSA currently brings into Fiji around $48m every month in personal remittances.  The addition of the Cook Islands will further boost IMT inwards.

UNCDF’s Inclusive Digital Economies Technical Expert, Ali Akram said: “UNCDF is pleased to have supported the launch of this initiative which has paved the way to broaden this product offering to other Pacific Island Countries. This initiative is helping to address the issue of high cost of remittances prevalent in the Pacific and we are grateful to our donors of PDEP, the Government of Australia, European Union and the Government of New Zealand, for their continued support.”

 ‘Vodafone Cook Islands are thrilled to announce the launch of international mobile money transfer from the Cook Islands to Fiji via our E-Moni wallet directly into M-PAiSA wallet.  This innovative solution enables our customers to conveniently send money to their loved ones in Fiji. We are proud to introduce this service, further solidifying our dedication to providing solutions that meet the evolving needs of our community.’ says CEO Phillip Henderson.

Vodafone Fiji operates its award-winning M-PAiSA platform as M-Vatu in Vanuatu, M-Tala in Samoa, E--Moni in the Cook Islands and M-PAiSA in Kiribati.  It hopes to interconnect all these markets for inwards and outward money transfer service over time to make it more convenient and less costly to send money across the Pacific.

mHITs, a multi-award winning Australian fintech, won a US$50,000 grant from UNCDF at the Fintech Challenge to develop the region’s first cross-border payments solution with Vodafone.

The company will manage the foreign currency conversion part of the money transfer process, while Vodafone will operate the software at the sender and receiver’s end. In time, it is expected that M-PAiSA users in Fiji will also be able to send money to the Cooks.

“We are privileged to be able to continue participating in this wonderful initiative” says mHITs founder and CEO Mr.  Harold Dimpel.  “Together with our partners Vodafone and the UNCDF, we are able to make a very positive impact on the region by allowing money to move more easily.”

The grant and technical assistance provided by UNCDF helped to catalyze the development deployment of the service. The programme is jointly implemented by UNCDF, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), with support from the European Union and Government of Australia.

For further information contact:
Manager: Sponsorship Head of E-Commerce
adriu.vakarau@vodafone.com.fj shailendra.prasad@vodafone.com.fj

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