Voila and Unibank's pioneering efforts to spur the Haitian economy with its T-Cashmobile money service reached a new milestone today as the company staked its claim to win $2.5 million in prize money by reaching the goal of 10,000 transactions set forth by the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative, a partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, implemented by HIFIVE.
Voila, a subsidiary of Seattle-based Trilogy International Partners, and Unibank, Haiti's premier bank, completed a comprehensive, nine month pilot program of the T-Cash service before launching it to the broader Haitian population, ensuring all financial transactions are handled safely, securely and efficiently. T-Cash is uniquely simple and easy to use. By leveraging Unibank's nationwide network of merchants and tapping into Voila's base of over 1 million subscribers, over 10,000 financial transactions have been completed within weeks of the commercial launch, proving that Haitians are ready to embrace "mobile wallets" as a safe and reliable option to meet their banking needs.
Robin Padberg, Voila's CEO, personally delivered Voila's Award Claim to HIFIVE today for the 30 day verification period. To win, a mobile money services provider must show that it conducted at least 100 qualifying transactions through each of 100 different agents. According to Padberg, "We took the time to audit our transaction numbers and we are confident that HIFIVE will find them to be completely accurate."
"It's remarkable to see how quickly people are embracing the T-Cash service," Padberg continued. "Unless you're in Haiti day in and day out, it's hard to grasp the challenges people face here just to complete simple financial transactions. Having operated in Haiti for 11 years, it's an amazing feeling to know that Voila is at the forefront of providing such a revolutionary tool for the people of Haiti that can dramatically impact their lives for the better – everyday. That's why any prize money we receive will be directly invested in further initiatives to benefit the people of Haiti and help spur the local Haitian economy."
With T-Cash, Voila subscribers throughout Haiti now have the ability to use their mobile phone to complete domestic peer-to-peer money transfers, bill pay, payroll services, and expanded mobile commerce capabilities. An initial and unique feature of the T-Cash service is a "mini wallet." The mini wallet allows Voila subscribers to immediately activate the T-Cash service and store up to 2500HTG ($62.50 USD) by entering *700# on their Voila mobile phone. This easy-to-use, mini wallet feature will allow for rapid, widespread adoption and access nationwide. Voila and Unibank are gearing up to establish over a thousand affiliated merchants and cash in/cash out locations throughout the country by January, 2011.
The T-Cash platform is available to relief organizations, NGOs and government agencies throughout the country. Any organization interested in deploying mobile money solutions in Haiti can send inquiries directly to tcash@Voila.ht firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voila is a leading mobile telecommunications operator in Haiti, providing high-quality, affordable wireless service to well over a million subscribers. Since its inception 11 years ago, it has invested over US$200 million in Haiti. Voila employs over 500 local staff and provides indirect employment to more than 25,000 Haitians through a micro-enterprise venture whereby local entrepreneurs sell time and minute recharges on a customized cell phone. Voila is a subsidiary of Trilogy International Partners LLC, a privately held company based in Bellevue, WA. In December 2009 Voila received the U.S. Department of State's prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In early 2009 Voila was selected as one of ten (10) finalists by the Organization of American States for its corporate citizenship in the Americas. For more information on Voila, please see its website: www.Voila.ht.
About Trilogy International Partners, LLC
Trilogy International Partners, LLC (Trilogy) is a privately held company based in Bellevue, WA. Trilogy invests in wireless telecommunication operations in international markets that exhibit strong opportunities for significant growth. Trilogy and its businesses own wireless communications systems in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and New Zealand, holding licenses to provide wireless services to over 31 million people. For more information on Trilogy, please see its website: www.trilogy-international.com.
Since its inception in July 1993, UNIBANK has emerged as Haiti's fastest-growing bank and has transformed itself into Haiti's leading financial institution, striking the imagination, providing innovation and constantly introducing new products and services. UNIBANK is Haiti's largest bank, with assets exceeding USD 1 billion. UNIBANK is the flagship company of Groupe Financier National (GFN)® a conglomerate of 15 enterprises located in Haiti and abroad, with 850,000 customers in Haiti and 270,000 Haitian customers living abroad. The Group has 1,828 employees and 568 points of services comprising 45 UNIBANK branches and 20 additional offices specializing in Micro finance, credit card services, investment banking, retail consumer credit, and financial and economic consulting. UNITRANSFER, the remittance company of the Group, has 186 offices and remittance paying-agents throughout Haiti and 317 International offices and agents in the United States, Canada and various countries in the Caribbean. For more information on UNIBANK, see its website: www.unibankhaiti.com.