$10.5m international remittances in October

Vodafone Fiji acting CEO Ronald Prasad. Picture: ABISHEK CHAND

International money transfer into the M-Paisa platform has seen a growth from $2 million pre-COVID-19 to $10.5m in October which was an increase 425 per cent, according to the Vodafone CEO Ronald Prasad.

While speaking at the third multi-disciplinary conference yesterday, he said through the Vodafone M-PAiSA solution, thousands of Fijian families now receive international money transfer from their loved ones abroad, directly onto their mobile phones.

“If it wasn’t for M-PAiSA, many families would be deprived because of the various lockdowns/restrictions still prevalent in many countries,” he said.

“Our QR Pay solution provides a great cashless avenue for people to transact.

“People now get IMT directly on their phones and they use the virtual currency to pay utility bills, top-up phones, transfer money and shop for groceries.”

Mr Prasad added this was technology in action, enriching peoples’ lives as it was a great enabler to bridge the economic divide between the rich and the poor, urban and rural and developed and the developing nations.

“During this pandemic, through technology solutions such as the Care Fiji App, contract tracing has been made possible.

“Through our affordable and reliable broadband solutions, we have enabled thousands of people to work from home – making online education possible.

“Social media was effectively used to disseminate important health and hygiene related information and people used social media and various other applications to keep them connected, abreast with news and of course entertained,” he said.

Mr Prasad said launch of the online marketplace called Vitikart enabled businesses and micro-entrepreneurs to make their goods and services available for sale online with M-PAiSA, debit and credit card as payment options.

The third multi-disciplinary conference was said to get an input from community leaders and frontline social workers on the type of socio-economic issues faced by people.

Mr Prasad said the whole idea was early intervention to prevent these issues snowballing into bigger national issues.

Ten volunteer candidates were also announced to be getting paid to work for the charity which they were passionate about under Vodafone Fiji’s World of Difference program.

“Our foundation has made over $30m worth social investment in Fijian communities over the years.

“With our WOD investment of $1.2m, we saw some 50-fold rate of return and the credit for hard work goes to these charities, their donors, the hardworking and dedicated team of staff, volunteers and relevant stakeholders,” he said.

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