18 May 2012
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Tongan mobile money transfers enabled by kiwi tech - Updated

A new technology deployment in Tonga is making it easier for Tongans living in New Zealand to send money to relatives back home, especially those who don’t have credit cards or smartphones.

A joint partnership between Digicel, VeriFone, and recent Hi-tech Award nominees KlickEx, the program has already seen 50 merchants in Nuku’alofa equipped with VeriFone contactless payment acceptance terminals, and more are scheduled to be rolled out around the country shortly.

The terminals will be able to accept payments from ordinary cellphones thanks to a solution that uses NFC tags linked to mobile numbers.

Combined with a service launched by Digicel late last year that lets people in New Zealand make direct money transfers to Digicel ‘mobile wallets’ in Tonga, the solution will allow users to completely bypass traditional money transfer operations.

Darren McLean, commercial director for Digicel Pacific, says international remittances play a vital role in the economies of the Pacific.

"We believe the level of convenience, lower cost and easy authentication provided by Digicel and VeriFone can transform the way our customers receive, manage and spend their money in this region,” McLean says.

"Combining our existing Mobile Money product with VeriFone mWallet services and NFC acceptance systems helps us offer our subscribers an easy, convenient and integrated mobile money experience.”

As well as adding more payment terminals, Digicel now plans to introduce other payment services, including international bill payments.

Update: Mobilis Networks channels and marketing manager Ian Allan (@decanker) tweets: "More kiwi tech than maybe realised, NZ company Mobilis provides the software for VeriFone’s mwallet services.” Cheers for the heads-up Ian!

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