Vodafone has taken a step further by launching an International Money Transfer (IMT) initiative that enables a user to electronically transfer funds to a friend, relative or to a company overseas.
In partnership with Worldremit, Rocket Remit, Thunes, Ria and Western Union, M-Vatu, this new service is a game changer for Vanuatu.
IMT will allow thousands of people, including seasonal workers or students abroad to easily receive or send money to their families and communities overseas.
Vodafone opens up inward remittance from over 94 countries, main corridors being Australia, New-Zealand, United Kingdom, USA and Canada.
In line with the Government’s policy and with the support of the Reserve Bank and UNDP, Vodafone has launched in 2019 the first electronic wallet of the country — M-Vatu.
M-Vatu offers the convenience of anytime and anywhere easy access to payments and funds like send money, bill payments, recharge, receipt and many more. It will provide an instant, secure, affordable and convenient means of transaction and payment.
Users can now pay and send money to family and friends all around the country including remote areas where no bank or banking system is available.
Registration to M-Vatu is free with established agents as access points throughout the country, this electronic system is accessible via a simple USSD menu and users do not need a bank account for this service.
For domestic transfers, users can also transfer money to a non-registered M-Vatu user, only to a certain limit.
Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Johnny Koanapo commented during the IMT launching ceremony held at the YumiWork and V-LAB co-working space on December 22nd, that financial services in Vanuatu are highly concentrated in the urban areas.
“Technology has transitioned over the years, yet people in rural areas still have limited access to Banks,” he added
“The Government through the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu has elevated the agenda of financial inclusion as part of the National Agenda of the country, to improve access to financial services and products within rural areas.
“As part of the National Financial Strategy for Vanuatu, the Reserve Bank highly recommends Digital Financial Services as one of the prime factors that will ensure greater access and improved services for low-income users.
“With M-Vatu, people can make financial transactions through their mobile phones from almost everywhere in the country, the Government will be able to make salary payments, social benefits and school fees.”
Vodafone CEO, Barlen Lutchmoodoo said in his keynote address, “Vodafone has one vision and ambition: to make digital services available across all islands of Vanuatu.”
“Despite the crisis, Vodafone did not hesitate to continue investing to ensure good services to the people and communities,” he said
“In total, over 4-years, Vodafone has invested Vt3 billion.
“Vodafone has always been at the forefront of innovation, in the future, we are looking at bigger participation from the Government on ICT infrastructure development to achieve a nationwide broadband coverage.”
Vodafone guaranteed by April next year, M-Vatu will expand its services with a partnership agreement with UNELCO, in order to make bill payments much easier with just a click of a button.
Other projects in the pipeline are the QR Code process which users can also scan goods using M-Vatu at various shops and Bank integration.