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Haiti - Economy : Voilà, rewarded for its mobile money service T-Cash
12/10/2011 12:43:26

Haiti - Economy : Voilà, rewarded for its mobile money service T-Cash
On the eve of celebrating its 12th anniversary in Haiti, Trilogy International Partners' Haitian subsidiary, Voilà, was recognized for its leadership role in launching mobile money services throughout Haiti, receiving the majority share [89%] of the first "Scaling Award" from the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI), a partnership between The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, administered by The Haiti Integrated Finance for Value Chains and Enterprise (HIFIVE).

At a ceremony yesterday in Port au Prince, Voilà and its banking partner, Unibank, were presented with a check for $889,250, following HIFIVE's verification of transaction reports submitted earlier this year. Those reports showed that as of May 1, 2011, Haitians had conducted 100,000 qualifying financial transactions - sending, receiving, or storing money – on their mobile phones. 89% of those transactions were performed by customers of Voilà's mobile money service, T-Cash.

The results since May have been even more impressive. There are currently over 300,000 registered T-Cash users who have conducted over 3 million financial transactions on their Voilà phones to make or receive cash deposits, withdraw funds, purchase food and supplies or transfer money to friends or family. Voilà has built up a network of over 1100 T-Cash agents and merchants throughout Haiti, with plans to scale up to 1500 by the end of the year.

"The promise of using wireless phones to expand financial services to Haiti's rural poor is starting to take root," said Brad Horwitz, President and CEO of Trilogy International Partners. "Since Voilà first commercially launched mobile money services in Haiti late last December, over $16 million worth of transactions have been made using T-Cash, and another $4 million worth of payroll transactions have flowed through the system, demonstrating that mobile payment solutions are a viable option to extend banking services to Haiti's largely unbanked population. T-Cash was designed to encourage rapid adoption and these early results indicate the approach is working," Horwitz said.

An initial, key differentiator of Voilà's T-Cash service is a 'mini wallet' feature which allows customers to use a short code to immediately activate the service -- without traveling to an agent location – and store up to $62.50 on their Voilà phone. "The mini-wallet is a distinguishing feature for T-Cash that's proven to be a real motivator and sets us apart in the marketplace," Horwitz said. "It's been a particularly useful tool for our NGO customers who benefit dramatically from the additional flexibility it provides in administering payroll services."

Voilà originally partnered with Mercy Corps to use T-Cash for administering their cash assistance programs, and has since partnered with a variety of other NGOs including Oxfam, World Vision, Help Age, and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), providing payroll services to over 20,000 people. A recent satisfaction survey conducted by CRS of their cash-for-work recipients who were paid using T-Cash found that 97% were 'very satisfied' with the service, based on quality and speed of transactions. 100% of the respondents preferred T-Cash over other payroll services they had previously used, citing speed and reliability.

Today, October 12th, Voilà celebrates its 12 year anniversary of providing wireless services to the people of Haiti.

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