Tonga rocks for NFC! Wins best NFC deployment at Connected World Forum

While operators in major markets like the UK and the USA experiment with programmes using smart phones and credit cards, a small Pacific nation was propelled into the spotlight as a global leader in mobile payments earlier this month when Digicel triumphed at the Connected World Forum, winning the award for Best NFC Deployment for its ‘Beep and Go’ service.

Launched in the Kingdom of Tonga in July, ‘Beep and Go’ is the world’s first fully inclusive payments network linking NFC point-of-sale (POS) terminals to mobile money wallets across the nation.

The Pacific nation is home to 105,000 people with significant ties to Australia, New Zealand and the USA and is heavily dependent on private remittances. In a developing economy where credit card and bank account penetration is low and very few people have smart phones, Digicel’s service in Tonga is now recognised as a unique deployment of mobile-based NFC payments services. Any customer with a Digicel phone can receive international payments direct to their mobile and can then make purchases at over 150 retail stores across the Kingdom. Customers simply tap their mobile on an NFC-enabled POS terminal and enter their secure PIN to complete their transactions.

The Digicel service uses contactless stickers inside the device which have been specifically designed to provide reliable transactions no matter what Digicel mobile phone is used. These contactless stickers give current customers the possibility to use mobile phones to make payments while waiting for NFC handsets to reach critical mass.

The Connected World Forum is the world’s leading event dedicated to mobile value added services (VAS). With over 1,000 leading experts focused on launching and scaling profitable Mobile Lifeline services, the Connected World Forum is considered the best place to discover the latest developments in mobile money, mobile health, mobile education, mobile agriculture and other mobile lifeline services.

Darren McLean, Regional Commercial Director at Digicel Asia-Pacific, said; “We are delighted with the award and recognition for the role Digicel is playing in helping to transform the Tongan economy. Financial inclusion is important in the Pacific and ‘Beep and Go’ is driving a major increase in the use of our Mobile Money services. The service is supporting local businesses across the Kingdom and Tonga is clearly at the forefront of innovation not just in the Pacific, but across the world.”

Avid Digicel Mobile Money user, Tupou Riechelmann, commented on the benefits of the ‘Beep and Go’ service; “Many Tongans rely on money transfers from within the Kingdom or from relatives in Australia and New Zealand. Now with Digicel Mobile Money, Tongans can receive transfers or deposit money and then use ‘Beep and Go’ to pay for their food, petrol, restaurant bills and to buy goods at stores. It’s fast and simple to use and has made shopping and paying for things an absolute breeze. For me, it really is a smarter way to pay.”

For more information on Digicel Mobile Money services visit www.digicelmobilemoney.com

 

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