Partnership to improve digital payments system

From left - Deepak Baran, Vodafone Fiji manager m.Commerce and Smart Solutions; Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Ariff Ali; mHITS Ltd’s Harold Dimpel and Deisy Patino Ramos; and Shailendra Prasad, Head of e-Commerce and Corporate Affairs Vodafone Fiji at the Singapore Prudential Towers on July 29, 2022. Picture: SUPPLIED/UNCDF

VODAFONE Fiji is set to work closely with Australia’s mHITS Ltd over the next 12 months to implement the Australian company’s winning digital payments solution.

At the conclusion of the Pacific Islands Fintech Innovation Challenge held in Singapore, Vodafone Fiji’s Head of e-Commerce and Corporate Affairs, Shailendra Prasad said it was a real learning experience for the Vodafone M-PAiSA team to be part of the Fintech Bootcamp to Singapore and to be selected as one of the UNCDF grant beneficiaries for its next project.

The Pacific Islands FinTech Innovation Challenge was initiated by the UNCDF to help address the challenge of financial inclusion and digital payments in Pacific Island Countries (PICs). “Vodafone is continuously exploring new opportunities for continued growth.

If something can be delivered digitally over the phone more efficiently and cost effectively which transforms people’s lives for the better, then we are very much interested.

“As has been proven during the pandemic, digital financial services have been so critical to ensure trade and commerce continued, inward remittances continued to flow, fast tracking digitalization and innovation in this space is important to build resilience in the economy,” said Mr Prasad.

He acknowledged that there was obviously much more that could be achieved in the digital financial services (DFS) space.

“M-PAiSA has been at the forefront of greater financial inclusion and access to basic financial services in Fiji and across the pacific islands where Vodafone now operates.

“It is time to take the next big leap. If there is one country from which we can learn how Fintech’s have changed the financial services landscape it is Singapore as the Fintech Hub of Asia and the Pacific.

“Therefore, to be part of this UNCDF organized Fintech boot camp is a real opportunity to see first-hand some of the latest innovations happening in this space and to partner with possible solution providers to deliver the next big thing in the financial services space that can have a transformative impact in the Pacific Islands.”

The Australian company mHITs Ltd was selected a winner in the Problem Statement 4: Streamlining Foreign Exchange with Vodafone Fiji as implementing partners.

The five winning teams are:

  • Global Psytech Sdn. Bhd. from Malaysia – Problem statement 1 (Implementing partners: Tonga Development Bank and National Bank of Samoa)
  • ITGalax Solutions from Fiji – Problem statement 2 (Implementing partner: Fiji Development Bank n YABX from India – Problem statement 3 (Implementing partner: Solomon Islands National Provident Fund)
  • mHITs Limited from Australia – Problem statement 4 (Implementing partner: Vodafone Fiji)
  • Windcave from Australia – Problem statement 5 (Implementing partner: HFC Bank – Fiji and National Bank of Samoa).

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