OUR Telekom will be launching its mobile money services this year in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
This was announced in a statement from the country’s major telecommunication service provider,
“This will be a pivotal moment as the population of the Solomon Islands of around 700,000 has chronically struggled to access financial services. This launch is important for the region as well, as there are only three other Pacific Island nations with mobile money services,” the Our Telekom statement said.
It said mobile money has the potential to improve financial inclusion in Solomon Islands by overcoming both geographical and socioeconomical barriers.
“Given the country’s geography and that 75 percent of the population is rural, traditional brick-and-mortar financial services are extremely hard to reach.
“In fact, nearly a third of the population use canoe or boat to reach their nearest bank branch. By allowing users to transact from anywhere, mobile money can greatly reduce the opportunity and economic costs for the population to transact, especially for the majority rural population.”
Further to that the statement said mobile money can raise rural incomes and offer access to savings to the rural population – many of whom derive their primary income from subsistence-based activities, and as a result, most rural dwellers have to travel great distances to urban centres to transact and store their money.
By FOLLET JOHN
Solomon Star, Newsroom