While m-banking has not taken off in Brazil and other Latin American countries yet, in Haiti, Digicel’s mobile money service, named TchoTcho Mobile, and Voila’s T-Cash have reached 5 million transactions. The services are monitored and supported by Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI), a partnership between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency of International Development (USAID). For reaching the 5 million transaction milestone, HMMI will give the two services a cash award of $3.2 million, bringing the total award from the HMMI to U.S.$5.2 million since the products launched in November 2010.
TchoTcho Mobile is a mobile phone-based financial service, which today has about 900 agents serving more than 500,000 registered customers, who have generated more than five million transactions to date.
Digicel said it will reinvest the award money to grow and expand its TchoTcho Mobile service with the goals of including the Haitian unbanked population access in the financial system and building toward a cashless society.
Digicel acquired Voilà in April, and it will be merging its TchoTcho Mobile and Voila’s T-Cash teams. The merged team will be led by newly appointed general manager, David Sharpe, a Digicel veteran who also worked at Voila and built up Digicel’s SMS service to be the one that is most widely used by its customers.
With TchoTcho Mobile, Digicel aims to achieve success in social welfare and conditional cash transfer programs.